Restaurants

Most restaurants are considered high priority businesses because they have a high potential of generating various types of pollutants that can negatively impact local waterways including food waste, oil, grease, bacteria, trash, and landscape trimmings. Businesses must implement storm water pollution prevention practices that are recognized in their industry as being effective and economically feasible.

Following are available resources that will assist you in complying with Stormwater related regulations for your eating and drinking establishment.

The City of Oceanside Clean Water Program has developed a Grease and Urban Runoff Requirements for Oceanside Eating and Drinking Establishment   (3.5 MB) booklet to assist restaurants in the implementation of pollution prevention Best Management Practices.

An English/Spanish poster for restaurants detailing Best Management Practices that should be implemented on site are available at no charge to your business and can be posted within the business and used during employee training. Click here  (488 KB) to view the poster. For a copy of the poster please send an email the Stormwater compliance inspector. Hard copies will also be distributed to restaurants during annual inspections.

Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG)
What’s FOG?
Fats, oils, and grease – or FOG – are the leading cause of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).   Grease enters the sewer from poorly maintained grease control devices in restaurants and other food service establishments as well as household kitchen drains.  These sewer overflows and backups can cause health hazards, damage to restaurant and home interiors, and threaten the environment.

Where Does FOG Come From?
Most of us know grease as the byproduct of cooking.   FOG is found in such things as

  • Meat fats   
  • Food scraps
  • Lard  
  • Baking goods
  • Cooking oil
  • Sauces
  • Shortening                                                    
  • Dairy products
  • Butter and margarine

Why a FOG Control Program?

The City of Oceanside is required by the State Water Resources Control Board General Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) Order No. 2006-0003, adopted on May 2, 2006 to develop and implement a Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) on or before August 2, 2009.  One component of the SSMP is a FOG Control Program, which is intended to protect public health and the environment by reducing the occurrence of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) that are caused by grease waste that plugs sewer lines.

Commercial Kitchens and Restaurants
Commercial kitchens, restaurants, and other food service establishments generate FOG through normal kitchen activities.  FOG wastes (such as meat, food scraps, and cooking oils listed above) are commonly washed into the plumbing system through the sink during clean-up in the kitchen.
When the FOG cools and solidifies, it can build up in the sewer pipe and decrease pipe capacity by coating the inside of drain pipes.  FOG buildup can eventually block pipelines in the sewer collection system and result in overflows of raw sewage to public streets, adjacent properties, and private residences.  These SSOs are preventable public nuisances that can pose public health risks and subject the City of Oceanside and the business that caused the SSO to fines from regulatory agencies.

The City of Oceanside requires most food service establishments to install a grease interceptor and to adopt and implement approved Best Management Practices (BMPs) to prevent FOG from being discharged to the sanitary sewer system.  You can view a copy of the City of Oceanside’s FOG ordinance by clicking here  (33 KB). Solids should never be introduced into grease traps or interceptors.  Routine, often daily, maintenance of grease traps and interceptors is needed to ensure that they are working properly and effectively.

Oceanside’s Industrial Waste Inspector will annually inspect eating and drinking establishments that generate FOG. Inspections are conducted without notice, however you may download the Oceanside FOG inspection form  (27 KB) in order to understand the areas the inspector will concentrate on during the visit.

Food service establishment owners and prospective owners are encouraged to call the City of Oceanside’s Industrial Waste Inspector for additional details at (760) 435-5931.

Report any water running in the street when it is not raining or someone dumping something in the storm drain or curb and gutter by calling the
Urban Runoff Hotline at 760-435-4500.