Restaurants and cities enter conflict over grease
August 13, 2009
As cities and sewer districts try to manage a variety of new regulations, many are paying greater attention than in the past to the problem of fats, oils, and greases in their collection sewer systems. One such incident has attracted the attention of the Des Moines Register
, which recently featured a story about two well-known local restaurants
facing expensive projects to capture and contain grease before it reaches the local sewer system. The problem, on the surface, looks like a lose-lose proposition all the way around: The wastewater-collection agency can't handle the grease on its own, since it can be blamed for clogging sewers and causing disastrous backups. But the restaurants often find the cost of grease-containment systems to be prohibitive. Fortunately, some entrepreneurs have found ways to use waste grease from restaurants to produce biodiesel
, which can turn an expensive nuisance into a form of "clean" energy. On a larger scale, many industrial applications use dissolved-air floatation clarifiers
to remove fats, oils, and greases (known together as FOG) as a method of industrial pretreatment of their wastewater.
last revised August 2009