Consequences of noncompliance
There can be a wide range of negative consequences when it comes to pouring F.O.G. down the drain and not following the city’s ordinance. When fats, oil and grease enter the drain it clings to the sides of the sewer pipes and plugs the service lines, which can cause sewage backups. Even residentially it can plug a home’s septic system or drain lines causing unpleasant odors as well as sewage backup in the yard. Plugged sewer mains can result in backups in the storm drains or street, which can be hazardous to both the environment and residents. Any of these consequences can quickly lead to necessary expensive cleaning and plumbing repair bills.
Biannual inspections documented with photographs and data are required to ensure that establishments are following the ordinance. Establishments receive education early on to give them the necessary knowledge to pass inspection.
If the establishment is in violation, it will receive follow-up inspections, letters of violation as required and then enforcement action when necessary. The managing director will give an establishment a written notice of violation with orders to come into compliance by a certain date.
If the problem continues, enforcement action can be taken, including civil penalty charges up to $2,000 per violation per day and publishing a list of noncompliant operators in the newspaper. If the noncompliance continues and becomes more serious, the city is able to pursue criminal prosecution with various fines, emergency suspension of sewer service, termination of discharge as well as require a performance bond or liability insurance prior to reissuing the wastewater discharge permit along with increased monitoring and inspections.
”We are taking the route initially that people want to do the right thing and may need only to be educated as to why this is necessary,” Neuhaus explained. “However, for those who choose not to follow, fines and potential publication in the newspaper as a violator will be on their horizon.”