City council to consider fats, grease control program for Tyler commercial buildings

City council to consider fats, grease control program for Tyler commercial buildings

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Tyler City Council will soon decide on a new compliance ordinance that will make commercial building owners more accountable when it comes to what they pour down the drain and into the city’s water supply.

Paul Neuhaus, environment compliance engineer with the City of Tyler, said the FOG ordinance -- which stands for Fats, Oils, and Grease -- would help the utilities department and maintenance to prevent some “unwanted issues” from time to time.

“It’s going to regulate the fats, oils, and greases; it’s going to require different standards for grease traps and grit traps that are designed to prevent fat, oils, and greases from entering the sewer, causing a plug and causing a problem," said Neuhaus.

The ordinance would apply to commercial buildings only, and is directed particularly toward restaurants and food service business owners.

“Most of them already have a grease trap in place,” Neuhaus clarified. “Something’s that’s new is a lot of dealerships and stuff have grit traps, but we haven’t been checking them. We’ve been checking the food services, but we have not been checking the grit traps. So, we’ve got a new protocol in place, some news tools, it’s going to be a better, more robust process that’s going to be put into place to keep up with these.”

Neuhaus said the problem isn’t what he would call chronic -- “there are some problems from time to time," he clarified -- but he added that the new ordinance would help keep commercial building owners accountable.

“There’s going to be some education, so people are going to be a little more aware of it,” Neuhaus said. “There’s going to be some reduced fats, oils, and greases because right now, without having an ordinance, we haven’t really been able to enforce it. Now, we’ll be checking more frequently, which means we’ll be having a more thorough inspection process so we can avoid having some of the issues we have sometimes in the system.”

Neuhaus did not mention whether commercial business owners would be fined, or how they would be held accountable for violating the proposed ordinance. The Tyler City Council meets to discuss the idea on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

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