Chel­tenham ap­proves or­di­nance re­duc­ing fats, oils, grease in sewer sys­tem

The Globe - - COMMUNITY CALENDAR - By Jar­reau Free­man

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.”

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