Why is a Fats, Oils, and Greases (FOG) Program necessary?
FOG Programs such as the one developed and managed by the Stafford County Department of Utilities play an important role in reducing the amount of grease and other kitchen waste products that enter our sewer systems. Fats, oils and greases are a leading cause of blockages in both public sanitary sewer systems as well as privately-owned plumbing. Sewer back-ups and overflows can result in service interruptions, damage buildings and infrastructure, and have many negative ecological impacts, while FOG build-up within a facility’s own plumbing can require expensive repairs. Stafford County spends over $1.5 million annually to remove FOG from the sewer system, and respond to FOG related issues.
Additionally, the Stafford County FOG Program also seeks to limit the amount of oils and greases that reach our wastewater treatment plants. Keeping FOG out of our sewers and treatment plants reduces operating costs, increases efficiency and can assist in protecting our environment.
What facilities will require a FOG Permit and inclusion in the program?
Most commercial kitchens especially those that cook raw food, or use oil, will need to be permitted and inspected according to the details prescribed within our FOG Permit. Commercial kitchens can include restaurants, cafeterias, supermarkets, convenience stores as well as any other type of food service establishment.
No application is necessary. All facilities will be reviewed on a case by case basis during the Stafford County plan review process, and will be notified if inclusion under the program is required.
Here is the current list of facilities operating under the FOG General Permit.
What does inclusion in the FOG Program mean?
The Stafford County FOG Program seeks to ensure that all facilities with the potential to produce and discharge harmful levels of fats, oils and greases are outfitted with proper Grease Control Devices (GCDs) and that such devices are regularly maintained. The type of GCD required will vary depending on the specifics of each facility, including but not limited to: the type of operation, plumbing or kitchen fixtures installed, and volume of discharge. Chapter 10 of the most current Virginia Plumbing Code shall be the minimum basis for GCD requirements. Proper GCD maintenance and cleaning, along with other FOG Best Management Practices (BMPs), will be checked during an annual inspection of each facility. These inspections are conducted by a member of Stafford County Utilities.
FOGBMP.com Information and Uses:
Stafford County has selected FOG BMP, www.fogbmp.com, as a records management service to assist food service managers in maintaining compliance with local FOG program requirements. Facility operators have the option of creating an account with FOG BMP in order to view the details of past inspections. The site also has valuable material available to food service managers that can assist with the implementation of best management practices and employee training.
Participation in the Stafford County FOG Program means that your facility is actively working alongside the Department of Utilities to improve our public sewer systems and protect our environment.