Food Service/Restaurants

Sewer Line Blockages Caused By Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG)

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are a major cause of preventable sanitary sewer blockages and overflows that can cause health hazards, damage homes and businesses, and threaten the environment.

Food Service Establishments generate FOG through normal kitchen activities.  Fats, oils, and grease are common and can be found in items such as meat, food scraps, cooking oil, shortening, lard, dairy products, salad dressings, butter, and margarine and are commonly washed into the plumbing system through the sink during clean-up in the kitchen.

FOG is an issue because it doesn’t dissolve in water. When it enters the plumbing that discharges directly into the collections system, it can decrease pipe capacity when it cools down by coating the inside of drain pipes.  This can cause slow drainage and eventually block the pipes both within the Food Service Establishment’s internal plumbing and the regional wastewater collection system.

For tips on how to prevent sewer line blockages CLICK HERE.

Food Service Establishment Permit Requirement

In July 2003, the Rock River Water Reclamation District (District) developed a Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) and Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) Prevention Program in response to a requirement imposed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA).  The purpose of this program  is to reduce the sanitary sewer overflows and backups in the sanitary sewer system.  In order to ensure compliance with this requirement, the District requires grease separation devices in sources that are deemed contributors.

In order to establish, the above program, the District’s Board of Trustees adopted Ordinance 04/05-O-04 amending Title 2 of the District’s Code of Ordinances.  The Ordinance authorizes the issuance of permits to food service establishments who are required to install separators as set forth in Title 2, Article III, Section 8 of the District’s Code of Ordinances.

To apply for a discharge permit for a food service establishment, a General Industrial/Commercial Wastewater Discharge Permit Application must be completed and submitted to the District.  This application can be mailed to the District at PO Box 7480, Rockford, Illinois 61126-7480, or sent via email Food Service Establishments.  For further questions regarding food service permits, call 815-387-7633/815-387-7636 or email Food Service Establishments.