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Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) discharge into the wastewater collection system is nationally acknowledged as one of the most common causes of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), system surcharges and/or excessive collection system maintenance. According to Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40CFR), Part 403.2, the primary objective and responsibility of the federally mandated Pretreatment Program is, “To prevent the introduction of pollutants into the Publicly Owned Treatment Works which will interfere with the operation of a POTW, …”. In light of these regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency must consider FOG related SSOs to be preventable events by the Pretreatment Program. This position can translate into potential civil and/or criminal violations of the Clean Water Act for municipalities. In addition to the likelihood of litigation, SSO's create a potential adverse impact to public health and the environment.

The goal of an effective FOG control program is to minimize FOG related SSO's, backups, surcharges and line maintenance by reducing the amount of FOG entering the collection system. The objective in Honolulu was to develop an innovative, more technically based grease interceptor sizing criteria that results in a more reasonably sized grease interceptor while successfully minimizing the number of FOG related SSO's. Furthermore, it was extremely vital to identify equivalent alternative technology to minimize the economic impact to the FOG producing/discharging facilities (e.g. restaurants) since this industry is a significant portion of Honolulu's tourist based economy.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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