The city of Killeen is proposing several changes to the ordinance that regulates fats, oils and grease entering the city’s sewer system.
The proposed revisions would give restaurants two options for a sampling location — existing grease trap or the installation of a new sampling port at the property line, the option for restaurants to choose whether a grab sample or a composite sample is used to determine its surcharge amount and applying surcharges to restaurants utility bills for 12 months rather than six months, which the current program calls for, said Scott Osburn, the city public works director.
The FOG ordinance requires restaurant owners to maintain a grease trap — a device that removes grease from wastewater — and to keep the grease they put into the sewer within a prescribed amount.
The ordinance was implemented in March 2010 after the city was forced to pay $900,000 to Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1, the city’s wastewater treatment provider, in 2009 for damage caused by sewer grease.
The ordinance allowed for the city to assess surcharges to the food service establishments as a means of enforcing the measure.
Surcharges are based on the amount of biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids collected in a facility’s system. Once a surcharge amount is determined for a facility, it’s tacked on to its utility bill monthly.
According to city documents, since the implementation of surcharging in July 2011, there was a decrease in biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids at the South Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Osburn said following a council briefing on the FOG ordinance in early 2013, the council directed city staff to revise its program to reflect the city of Austin’s where possible and suspend monthly surcharges.
Austin’s program has been in place since 1977. When the city suspended surcharging in early 2013, the biochemical oxygen demand and the total suspended solids collected increased.
Osburn said following the council’s direction, city officials met with the city of Austin’s FOG program management team; several distinctions between the city’s and Austin’s ordinances were identified.
Other revisions include changing the temperature for allowable discharge from 150 degrees to 120 degrees and mandating transporters be state-licensed and permitted through the city’s FOG department.
Osburn said the proposed revisions were sent to local restaurant owners Wednesday.
They will be given multiple opportunities to share their concerns regarding the revisions before the council takes any action.
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