The Killeen City Council approved changes to an ordinance that regulates fats, oils and grease entering the city’s sewer system, after tweaking proposed changes to address the concerns of local food service representatives.
At a Feb. 4 workshop meeting, city staff presented its original proposed revisions to the council.
Scott Osburn, public works director, said the changes were made after staff studied the city of Austin’s plan. Staff went back before the council Feb. 18 to present feedback received from food service representatives.
One revision is a change in temperature, from 150 degrees to 120, for allowable discharge. Osburn said the change was necessary to prevent damage to the city’s collection system and the treatment plant.
“The high temperature base water eliminates the ability for the grease to basically coagulate when run through the grease trap,” he said. “If you run really hot water, the grease flushes right through; it’s the same thing here. In the event that it’s too hot, it does not give that grease trap enough time to basically do its job.”
The revision also gives restaurants two options for providing samples of dumped grease: a grab sample from an existing grease trap or installing a new sampling port at the property line.
Restaurants can choose between the sampling options to determine the surcharge amount that will be added to their utility bill if found to not be in compliance with city regulations.
Another change originally proposed was surcharges being tacked on to a restaurant’s utility bill for 12 months, rather than six months required by the previous program.
After hearing concerns from Bryna Schulze, operations manager at Haljohn, which manages local McDonald’s, the council agreed to allow establishments to come into compliance with standards and be re-evaluated before their regular annual inspections. The ordinance was put in place 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, for damage caused by sewer grease in 2009. The ordinance allows the city to assess surcharges to food service establishments as a means of enforcing the measure.
Schulze did not respond to the Herald’s requests for an interview Friday.
Hilary Shine, city spokeswoman, said the revised ordinance will take effect March 8.
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