Getting rid of grease the right way. Evansville city officials say they're seeing first hand the damage caused by restaurants disposing grease improperly.
Evansville has around a thousand food establishments producing and disposing grease. The problem is not the grease from food, as much as the grease drained into pipes from washing dishes and cleaning floors. If not disposed properly, the grease is making it's way inside sewer lines.
"I'm going to release this lid, and it has got the collection of it. You want to collect this type of grease, especially the solids. It will actually reduce the capacity of our sewer system." Owner Terri Carl says a fifty gallon grease trap in her kitchen at Leroy's Tavern, keeps grease from making its way into Evansville's sewer lines. "It our jobs as business owners to make sure that our sewer doesn't collect any of the grease. It is a residual of cooking," says Carl.
The city's water and sewer department has had ordinance in place for years. That ordinance requires food establishments to install a grease trap. Now, it's finally being enforced. The city hires an inspector to help keep an eye on any greasy situations.
"That was my business for years. I was in the sewer department and I helped maintain these lines." Carl says she helped write the ordinance, and though the traps are expensive, she says you must have them.
"Ours was in the neighborhood of about fifteen thousand," says Don Snyder. Not all grease traps are the same. At Hilltop Inn, owner Don Snyder says their grease goes into a tank in the ground. It is then pumped out by a service company.
"That is from this month. A food establishment that was putting grease down the line." Evansville Water and Sewer Director, Allen Mounts, says grease clogs will no longer be tolerated. "Eventually that all fills in, and the sewage doesn't' have anywhere to go, but back."
Mounts says the department will work with restaurants that do not have grease traps, and cant afford them. If restaurants refuse to comply, they could face major fines. The inspector has been funded for this year. They will be out and randomly inspecting places around the city.