Pretreatment equipment helps prevent sewage spills. The Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG) Program is essential to the protection of your private lateral as well as the City of Escondido’s sanitary sewer system.  FOG that enters a sewer pipe adheres to rags, roots, the walls of the pipe and other obstructions which can block the wastewater flow and result in an overflow of sewage.  Overflows can flood businesses and residences and harm the environment. 

Restaurants and other businesses that sell, serve, produce and manufacture food products must install and maintain FOG removal equipment, such as interceptors and grease traps.  Sand and oil clarifiers are also required for automotive service establishments.

Installation requires permits and inspections from the Building and Industrial Waste Divisions.  The following documents and links may be helpful resources if you need to install, correct, or maintain FOG Removal Equipment at your property.

  • City of Escondido Pretreatment Policy establishes standards related FOG removal equipment type, capacity, construction, and installation.
  • Guidance for installing grease removal equipment walks through the steps to permit and install FOG removal equipment at the City.
  • County Department of Environmental Health Grease Trap Policy establishes requirements for the location of grease removal equipment.  
  • The Escondido Municipal Code Section 22-185 (Wastewaters and Stormwaters, Pretreatment) lists requirements for installation and maintenance of FOG removal equipment.

Establishments with FOG removal equipment are inspected up to twice a year. Environmental Compliance Inspectors perform unannounced inspections to ensure equipment is maintained, records are current, and Best Management Practices for pollution prevention and hazardous waste management are compliant with City code and State requirements. Violations of the program can result in citations and fines.  Business can also be charged for costs such as repair or clean-up from system blockages or overflows caused by their violation of the program.

This compliance program is maintained, in part, by sewer service fees paid annually by all food service establishments with Class II-a Industrial User Permits.  A Wastewater Grease Control Fee for food service and automotive service establishments, $160 per year, is charged as part of business license renewals.  For updates to the Fee Inventory visit the Finance page.

If you have or witness a sewer overflow or illegal discharge, immediately contact the City of Escondido Environmental Programs Division at 760-839-4668.  Questions on the program can be directed to the same number.