Food Service Establishments (FSE) Fats, Oils and Grease Program

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Protecting Public Health And The Environment


When grease from restaurants or other types of Food Service Establishments (FSEs) is discharged into the wastewater (sewer) collection system without proper treatment, it becomes thick and viscous.  Grease sticks to the walls of sewer pipes and sewer lift station motors.  Rags and solid objects can then embed into the grease and cause restriction of flow, which may lead to a sewer system overflow.

Sewer blockages cause overflows onto City streets which can quickly escalate by continuous flow from upstream sources.  Domestic sewage can back up to the surface, enter storm drains, and pollute our waterways and ocean.  Preventing costly sewer system overflows not only saves money, but more importantly, safeguards public health and the health of our natural environment.

FOG Rules And Best Practices

Ventura Water is dedicated to working with food service businesses within our community to prevent fats, oils and grease from entering the wastewater drainage system.  In 2012, FOG Rules and Regulations were formally adopted by the City of Ventura.

The FOG program has the following key objectives:

  • FSEs install grease interceptors or appropriate grease control devices
  • Grease control devices are properly maintained
  • Kitchen or best management practices minimize grease from entering the building's drain.

A FSE is defined as any commercial or institutional entity operating in a permanently constructed structure for the purpose of storing, preparing, serving, manufacturing, packaging or otherwise handling food for sale or for consumption by the public.  These types of facilities may include, but are not limited to, full service restaurants, fast food restaurants, cafeterias, food processing plants, and grocery store.

All FSEs are categorized based on their grease generation potential and the rules and regulations.

Class 1: High grease generation, cooking equipment, volume of food served or type of food prepared.
Class 2: Moderate grease generation, such as fast food with mostly single service dishes.
Class 3: Low grease generation, such as sandwich and soup preparation; no cooking of raw food.
Class 4: No significant grease generation such as chafing stations and beverage facilities.

City of Ventura FOG Rules and Regulations 2012 (pdf 1,621KB)

Fats, Oils, and Grease Management Program for Food Service Establishments Brochure

Fats, Oils and Grease Program Powerpoint Presentation - October 17, 2012 Workshop (pdf 666KB)

FSE Fats, Oils and Grease FAQs (pdf 94KB)