Cheltenham approves ordinance reducing fats, oils, grease in sewer system
In a quest to keep the sewage system from clogging, Cheltenham Township approved an ordinance that reduces the amount of grease that can be discharged into the sewer system.
In a unanimous vote during the July 17 legislative meeting, commissioners approved an amendment to the sewer ordinance that will decrease the amount of fats, oils and grease, known as FlG, from entering the sewers.
“This ordinance provides enforcement procedures for the township staff to go out and inspect restaurants to make sure they are not discharging grease into the sanitary system,” said Township Manager Bryan Havir.
The ordinance not only applies to restaurants, but also to residents who discharge oily wastewater into the township’s wastewater treatment system, according to the ordinance. The amendment puts the township in compliance with the Clean Water Act of 1977 and the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan.
The amount of FlG that can enter the sewer system cannot exceed 100 milligrams. Those who have grease interceptors on the sewer line or have a grease trap must receive a permit through the township, according to the ordinance. The initial permit fee is $500, and the annual permit renewal is $250, the ordinance states.
Grease traps have to be cleaned oQ a UHJuOaU EasLs, aQG oYHUfloZLQJ oil and grease interceptors on the sewer line are prohibited. In the case that this does happen, those UHsSoQsLEOH IoU WKH oYHUfloZ aUH also responsible for the cleanup, the ordinance states.
The township is permitted to inspect the sewer line of residents using the township’s wastewater treatment system if they suspect WKHy aUH FausLQJ sLJQLfiFaQW )2G buildup.
Penalties for those who violate the ordinance inlcude getting their permits revoked or facing fees ranging from $250 to $1,000 depending on the violation.
The township has been working on the perameters for the ordinance for about four years, and it has been reviewed by the public works committee and the township staff, Havir said.
“I wanted to say how important this [ordinance] is,” said Commissioner Charles McKeown. “We have had a lot of [oil] leakage in the past from different businesses around town, and now we have a tool to enforce things better.”