top of page


ORDER NO. 2010-1



WHEREAS, the Lumberton Municipal Utility District (the “DISTRICT”) Board of Directors finds it to be in the public interest to establish uniform requirements for the maintenance and operation of grease traps and grease interceptors, and for increased enforcement consistent with the International Plumbing Code as adopted by the DISTRICT; and  


WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to curb sanitary sewer overflows from grease accumulations in the sanitary sewer system of the DISTRICT; and  


WHEREAS, prevention of the introduction of wastewater containing oil and grease and/or solids in amounts which may cause stoppages or obstructions of flow, or in any other way prevent or inhibit operation of the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (“POTW”), including the sanitary sewer system and treatment plant; and  


WHEREAS, said prevention will protect the environment and the health, safety and welfare of the public and the POTW workers and the public will be served by uniform requirements for the maintenance of grease traps or interceptors.




Fats, Oils and Grease (“FOG”) Control

Section I.         Applicability and Prohibitions 



(a)    This Order shall apply to all non-domestic users of the Publicly Owned Treatment Works
(POTW), as defined in Section II of this Order.

​(b)    Grease traps or grease interceptors shall not be required for residential users.


(c)    Facilities generating fats, oils, or greases as a result of food manufacturing, processing, preparation, or food service shall install, use, and maintain appropriate grease traps or interceptors as required in Section II of this Order.  These facilities include but are not limited to restaurants, food manufacturers, food processors, hospitals, hotels and motels, correctional institutions, nursing homes, and any other facility preparing, serving, or otherwise making any foodstuff available for consumption. 


(d) No user may intentionally or unintentionally allow the direct or indirect discharge of any petroleum oil, non-biodegradable cutting oil, mineral oil, or any fats, oils, or greases of animal or vegetable origin into the POTW in such amounts as to cause interference with the collection and treatment system, or as to cause pollutants to pass through the treatment works into the environment.

Section II.  Definitions 

(a)    Act means Federal Water Pollution Control Act, also known as the Clean Water Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1251, et. seq.


(b)    BOD means the value of the 5-day test for Biochemical Oxygen Demand, as described in the latest edition of "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater."


(c)    COD means the value of the test for Chemical Oxygen Demand, as described in the latest edition of "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater."


(d)    EPA means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


(e)    Fats, oils, and greases (FOG) means organic polar compounds derived from animal and/or plant sources that contain multiple carbon chain triglyceride molecules. These substances are detectable and measurable using analytical test procedures established in 40 CFR 136, as may be amended from time to time. All are sometimes referred to herein as "grease" or “greases.”


(f)    Generator means any person who owns or operates a grease trap or grease interceptor, or whose act or process produces a grease trap waste.


(g)    Grease trap or interceptor means a device designed to use differences in specific gravities to separate and retain light density liquids, waterborne fats, oils, and greases prior to the wastewater entering the sanitary sewer collection system. These devices also serve to collect settleable solids, generated by and from food preparation activities, prior to the water exiting the trap and entering the sanitary sewer collection system. Grease traps and interceptors are also referred to herein as "grease traps/interceptors."


(h)    Grease Trap Waste means material collected in and from an grease trap or interceptor in the sanitary sewer service line of a commercial, institutional, or industrial food service or processing establishment, including the solids resulting from de-watering processes.


(i)    Indirect Discharge or Discharge means the introduction of pollutants into a POTW from any non-domestic source.


(j)    Interference means a discharge which alone or in conjunction with a discharge or discharges from other sources inhibits or disrupts the POTW, its treatment processes or. operations or its sludge processes, use or disposal, or is a cause of a violation of the city's TPDES permit. 

(k) pH means the measure of the relative acidity or alkalinity of water and is defined as the negative logarithm (base 10) of the hydrogen ion concentration.

(I) POTW or Publicly Owned Treatment Works means a treatment works which is owned by a state or municipality as defined by section 502(4) of the Clean Water Act. This definition includes any devices and systems used in the storage, treatment, recycling and reclamation of municipal sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature. It also includes all sewers, pipes and other conveyances that convey wastewater to a POTW.  The term also means the municipality as defined in section 502(4) of the Act, which has jurisdiction over the indirect discharges to and the discharges from such a treatment works. For purposes of this Order, the terms "sanitary sewer system" and "POTW" may be used interchangeably.

(m)    TCEQ means the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and its predecessor and successor agencies.

(n)    Transporter means a person who is registered with and authorized by the TCEQ to transport sewage sludge, water treatment sludge, domestic septage, chemical toilet waste, grit trap waste, or grease trap waste in accordance with 30 TEXAS ADMINISTRATIVE CODE §312.142.

(0) TSS means the value of the test for Total Suspended Solids, as described in the latest edition of "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater."


(p) User means any person, including those located outside the jurisdictional limits of the city, who contributes, causes or permits the contribution or discharge of wastewater into the POTW, including persons who contribute such wastewater from mobile sources.


Section III.  Installation and Maintenance Requirements 


(a)    Installations

1)    New Facilities. Food processing or food service facilities which are newly proposed or constructed, or existing facilities which will be expanded or renovated to include a food service facility, where such facility did not previously exist, shall be required to design, install, operate and maintain a grease trap or interceptor in accordance with locally adopted plumbing codes or other applicable ordinances. Grease traps or interceptors shall be installed and inspected prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

2)    Existing Facilities.  Existing grease traps or interceptors must be operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and in accordance with these Model Standards, unless specified in writing and approved by the POTW.


3) All grease trap or interceptor waste shall be properly disposed of at a facility in accordance with federal, state, or local regulation.

(b)    Cleaning and Maintenance


1)    Grease traps and grease interceptors shall be maintained in an efficient operating condition at all times.

2)    Each grease trap pumped shall be fully evacuated unless the trap volume is greater than the tank capacity on the vacuum truck in which case the transporter shall arrange for additional transportation capacity so that the trap is fully evacuated within a 24-hour period, in accordance with 30 TEXAS ADMINISTRATIVE CODE §312.143.


(c)    Self-Cleaning


1)    Grease trap self-cleaning operators must receive approval from the POTW annually prior to removing grease from their own grease trap(s) located inside a building, provided:


(A)    the grease trap is no more than fifty (50) gallons in liquid/operating capacity;


(B)    proper on-site material disposal methods are implemented (e.g. absorb liquids into solid form and


(C)    the local solid waste authority allows such practices;


(D)    grease trap waste is placed in a leak proof, sealable container(s) located on the premises and in an area for the transporter to pump-out; and


(E)    detailed records on these activities are maintained.


2)    Grease trap self-cleaning operators must submit a completed self-cleaning request to the POTW for approval.  The written request shall include the following information:


(A)    Business name and street address;


(B)    Grease trap or interceptor operator name, title, and phone number;


(C)    Description of maintenance frequency, method of disposal, method of cleaning and size (in gallons) of the grease trap or interceptor; and


(D)    Signed statement that the operator will maintain records of waste disposal and produce them for compliance inspections.

(d)    Cleaning Schedules


1)    Grease traps and grease interceptors shall be cleaned as often as necessary to ensure that sediment and floating materials do not accumulate to impair the efficiency of the grease trap or interceptor; to ensure the discharge is in compliance with local discharge limits; and to ensure no visible grease is observed in discharge.


2)    Grease traps and grease interceptors subject to these standards shall be completely evacuated a minimum of every ninety (90) days, or more frequently when:


(A)    twenty-five (25) percent or more of the wetted height of the grease trap or grease interceptor, as measured from the bottom of the device to the invert of the outlet pipe, contains floating materials, sediment, oils or  greases; or


(B)    the discharge exceeds BOD, COD, TSS, FOG, pH, or other pollutant levels established by the POTW; or


(C)    if there is a history of non-compliance.


3)    Any person who owns or operates a grease trap or interceptor may submit to the POTW a request in writing for an exception to the ninety (90) day pumping frequency of their grease trap or interceptor. The POTW may grant an extension for required cleaning frequency on a case-by-case basis when:

(A)    the grease trap or interceptor owner/operator has demonstrated the specific grease trap or interceptor will produce an effluent, based on defensible analytical results, in consistent compliance with established local discharge limits such as BOD, TSS, FOG, or other parameters as determined by the POTW, or

(B)    less than twenty-five (25) percent of the wetted height of the grease trap or grease interceptor, as measured from the bottom of the device to the invert of the outlet pipe, contains floating materials, sediment, oils or greases

4) In the event, a grease trap and grease interceptor shall be full evacuated, cleaned, and inspected at least    once every 180 days.

(e)    Manifest Requirements


1)    Each pump-out of a grease trap or interceptor must be accompanied by a manifest to be used for record keeping purposes.


2)    Persons who generate, collect and transport grease waste shall maintain a record of each individual collection and deposit. Such records shall be in the form of a manifest. The manifest shall include:


(A)    name, address, telephone, and commission registration number of transporter;


(B)    name, signature, address, and phone number of the person who generated the waste and the date   collected

(C)    type and amount(s) of waste collected or transported;

(D)    name and signature(s) of responsible person(s) collecting, transporting, and depositing the waste;

(E)    date and place where the waste was deposited;

(F)    identification (permit or site registration number, location, and operator) of the facility where the waste was deposited;

(G)    name and signature of facility on-site representative acknowledging receipt of the waste and the amount of waste received;


(H)    the volume of the grease waste received; and

(I) a consecutive numerical tracking number to assist transporters, waste generators, and regulating authorities in tracking the volume of grease transported.

3)    Manifests shall be divided into five parts and records shall be maintained as follows:


(A)    One part of the manifest shall have the generator and transporter information completed and be given to the generator at the time of waste pickup; thereafter the remaining four parts of the manifest shall have all required information completed and signed by the appropriate party before distribution of the manifest;


(B)    One part of the manifest shall go to the receiving facility;


(C)    One part shall go to the transporter, who shall retain a copy of all manifests showing the collection and disposition of waste;


(D)    One copy of the manifest shall be returned by the transporter to the person who generated the wastes within 15 days after the waste is received at the disposal or processing facility; and


(E)    One part of the manifest shall go to the DISTRICT.


4)    Copies of manifests returned to the waste generator shall be retained for five years and be readily available for review by the POTW.

(f)    Alternative Treatment


1)    A person commits an offense if the person introduces, or causes, permits, or suffers the introduction of any surfactant, solvent or emulsifier into a grease trap. Surfactants, solvents, and emulsifiers are materials which allow the grease to pass from the trap into the collection system, and include but are not limited to enzymes, soap, diesel, kerosene, terpene, and other solvents.

2)    It is an affirmative defense to an enforcement of Section III. ( f) (l) that the use of surfactants or soaps is incidental to normal kitchen hygiene operations.


3)    Bioremediation media may be used with the POTW's approval if the person has proved to the satisfaction of the POTW that laboratory testing which is appropriate for the type of grease trap to be used has verified that:


(A)    The media is a pure live bacterial product which is not inactivated by the use of domestic or commercial disinfectants and detergents, strong alkalis, acids, and/or water temperatures of 160"F (71 "C);

(B)    The use of the media does not reduce the buoyancy of the grease layer in the grease trap and does not increase the potential for oil and grease to be discharged to the sanitary sewer;


(C)    The use of the bioremediation media does not cause foaming in the sanitary sewer; and


(D)    The BOD, COD, and TSS discharged to the sanitary sewer after use of the media does not exceed the BOD,  COD, and TSS which would be discharged if the product were not being used and the grease trap was being properly maintained pH levels must be between 5 and 11.

4) All testing designed to satisfy the criteria set forth in Section III (f) (3) shall be scientifically sound and statistically valid.  All tests to determine oil and grease, TSS,  BOD, COD, pH, and other pollutant levels shall use appropriate tests which have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and which are defined in Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 136 or Title 30, TEXAS ADMINISTRATIVE CODE 319.11.  Testing shall be open to inspection by the POTW, and meet the POTW’s approval.

Section IV. Schedule of Penalties 

(a)    If the POTW determines that a generator is responsible for a blockage of a collection system line the generator shall owe a civil penalty of $1,000 for the first violation, $1,500 for a second violation, and $2,000 for the third violation within a two-year period. Continuous violations shall result in an increase in penalty by $500 and may also result in termination of services.


(b)    Any person violating any of the provisions of this Order shall be subject to a written warning for the first violation, a $1,000 civil penalty for the second violation, a $1,500 civil penalty for the third violation, and a $2,000 civil penalty for the fourth violation within a two-year period. Consistent violations will result in a $500 increase in civil penalty and may result in termination of service.


bottom of page