Sizing and Servicing Requirements for Grease Traps
Harris County's Recommendations
The sizing requirements for grease traps that are part of an onsite sewage facility fall under the jurisdiction of Harris County for regulation as an authorized agent of the State under the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. These requirements shall continue to follow County regulation.
The sizing requirements for grease traps that are part of an outfall into a public sewer system typically do not fall under Harris County’s jurisdiction, but rather that of the sewer system’s owner, like a Municipal Utility District. Therefore Harris County does not require, but rather recommends:
· Sizing be consistent with the City of Houston requirements. Those requirements currently state that grease traps and interceptors shall be sized according to the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), Chapter 10.
· Servicing requirements: Grease traps shall be cleaned every 90 days, or more frequently if the operating capacity is more than 25% full of solids and/or Fats, Oils, and Grease.
What is storm water?
Storm water is water from precipitation that flows across the pavement when it rains, then drains into storm sewers found at street corners or the low points on the sides of city streets. Unlike the water that we use in our homes, storm water receives no treatment.
What is the purpose of a storm drain system?
Its purpose is to prevent flooding of streets and highways by quickly and efficiently transferring rainwater into our bayous, creeks, rivers and Galveston Bay.
What's the difference between a storm water drainage system and a sewer system?
The sanitary sewer system collects household wastewater from toilets, showers and sinks. The wastewater is sent to a facility where it is first treated before discharging to a stream or bayou. In contrast, storm water is not usually treated and may carry contaminants directly into our waterways.
Where does storm water go after it drains into a storm drain?
Storm water that enters the storm drains flows untreated into our channels, bayous and rivers before it goes to Galveston Bay.
What contributes to storm water pollution?
Anything that is thrown into a storm drain or that is left on the street and is picked up by storm water contributes to storm water pollution. More specifically, pollutants include car oil, pesticides, fertilizers, animal droppings, trash, food wastes, automotive by-products and other toxic substances. Industrial and commercial activities with uncovered outdoor storage or process areas, loading docks and equipment maintenance and washing areas may also contribute pollutants to urban runoff.
What can you put down the storm drain?
Local ordinances and regulations prohibit anything other than uncontaminated rainwater from entering the storm drain system.
What about yard trimmings and soil? They can't harm storm water can they?
Even though yard trimmings and soil are natural debris, when put in the storm drain they flow to our bayous, rivers and Galveston Bay where they can ruin the natural balance of the ocean and harm fish.
What can I do to help?
There are a lot of easy ways to help keep our water clean, such as:
Pick up after your pets and properly dispose of their waste in the trash.
Never pour pesticides, household paints, chemicals and motor oil on the ground or down a storm drain.
Take household toxic products to hazardous waste facilities.
Don't over water or over fertilize your lawn. Use natural products when possible.
Wash your vehicle on your lawn instead of your driveway or street. Don't worry it won't hurt your lawn!
Visit www.cleanwaterclearchoice.org or call 713-290-3000 to see what community projects you can get involved with to help with this issue
What do I do if I see someone dumping into a storm drain?
Call 3-1-1, the Anonymous City of Houston Neighborhood Protection Complaint line. Or call the City of Houston Environmental Health Info. Line and Industrial Discharges at 713-640-4399. Or call Harris County Pollution Control Services Department at 713-920-2831.