The Food Service Facility Program has been an ongoing program in the City of Santa Cruz for many years. The initial purpose of this program was to regulate food service facilities for their grease trap or interceptor maintenance and waste disposal. This is because excessive oil and grease can cause problems by blocking sewer lines, disrupting Wastewater Treatment Facility processes or passing through the treatment and into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Currently, the program is also emphasizing the prevention of storm water pollution from outdoor restaurant activities such as washing kitchen mats into the storm drains. The City is combining educational efforts with the annual grease interceptor inspections to bring all local restaurants and other food related businesses in compliance with the City's new Storm Water Ordinance.
Best Management Practices
The primary tool for educating these businesses is the Food Service Facilities Best Management Practices (BMPs). These are mandatory guidelines for preventing food wastes from entering the storm drain system, and preventing excessive oil and grease from entering the sanitary sewer. The BMPs are available in both English and Spanish, and may be viewed by clicking on the links below:
Best Management Practices For Food Service Facilities [PDF]
Establecimientos de Servicios Alimenticios [PDF]
Clean Ocean Business Program
The Clean Ocean Business Program was recently started by the City to recognize food service facilities that are in compliance with the City's mandatory BMPs. Businesses that qualify receive free advertising in the local newspapers and two brightly colored six-inch Clean Ocean Business decals. For the list of 2011 Clean Ocean Businesses, please click on the link below.
List of Food Service Facilities Recognized as
2016 Clean Ocean Businesses
Grease Trap and Interceptor Information
Any new food service facility or a current facility that wants to make changes in its operations or capacity must review the Grease Trap/Interceptor Information packet and complete a Food Service Facility Wastewater Discharge Questionnaire prior to beginning any new operations. Please click on the link below to review or print out the information packet.
Grease Trap and Interceptor Information
Wastewater Discharge Questionnaire
As mentioned above, food service facilities are required to submit a Wastewater Discharge Questionnaire prior to beginning any new operations. The questionnaire requests information such as the hours of operation, seating capacity, and the types of equipment present. The information will be used to determine the size of the grease interceptor or trap that must be installed. Please click on the link below to review or print out the questionnaire.
Food Service Facility Wastewater Discharge Questionnaire [PDF]
Application for Grease Interceptor Additive Use
Some food service facilities find a benefit from using drain or interceptor additives to help prevent clogging of internal drain lines. Some additives can cause grease to pass through an interceptor, thereby defeating its function of capturing and removing grease from the sewer system. Additives that cause pass-through are prohibited. In order to use any kind of additives, such as active bacteria, in a grease traps/interceptor, a business must first obtain approval for that additive from the City's Environmental Compliance Division. To obtain approval, complete and submit an Application for Grease Trap/Interceptor Additive Use. For the application form, please click on the link below.
Application for Grease Interceptor Additive Use [PDF]
Food service facility owners are responsible for maintenance of grease traps/interceptors. When a licensed liquid waste hauler pumps an interceptor or grease trap, it is the food service facility's responsibility to see that all of the contents have been removed and properly disposed of. Food service facilities should check their trap or interceptor after it is cleaned to ensure that all waste has been removed since this is what you are paying for!
The City has compiled a list of liquid waste haulers that are authorized to discharge wastes from grease trap or interceptor pumping at the City of Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility. At the time of disposal, these haulers must submit a manifest to the City, documenting the source of their wastes. Using a hauler that discharges your waste at the City's facility can help to document the proper disposal of your waste. To view or print out the list of these liquid waste haulers, please click on the link below.
List of Liquid Waste Haulers Permitted to Discharge in Santa Cruz
Copies of each of these forms may also be obtained by calling the Environmental Compliance Division, at 831-420-6050.
For more information please contact:
Laboratory/Environmental Compliance Manager
110 California Street
Santa Cruz, California 95060
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.