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Keremeos looking to strengthen enforcement of grease interceptors

Excess grease and fats have been costly issues with the new wastewater plant
Village of Keremeos offices. (Brennan Phillips Keremeos Review)

The Village of Keremeos is looking to update its sewer regulations for stricter enforcement after issues at the new wastewater treatment plant.

The updates and new fines are set to be presented to council on April 2.

Since the first phase of the upgrades to the plant was completed in 2023, the facility has faced multiple incidents where fats, oils and grease (FOG) built up to excessive amounts, according to a staff report to the village council.

Those build-ups cost the village an estimated $10,000 to $20,000 in hiring pump trucks to remove the excess FOG and keep the facility in line with its operational certificate.

The village also spends about $7,000 on a probiotic program to help eat the FOG in the sewer system.

The excess FOG has also impacted the village’s lift stations, the report states, which could require expensive upgrades as well as increased spending on worker callouts and replacements as parts wear out faster.

The report notes that food sector establishments are required to have grease interceptors to prevent FOG from entering the sewer system under the current BC Building Code.

The changes to the village’s sewer bylaw are proposed to give the village the ability to ensure interceptors are installed, inspected and maintained regularly.

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The village is also looking at requiring some businesses or property owners to pre-treat their wastewater before it goes into the sewer system, whether that is physically, chemically or by some other method.

In addition to setting out the new regulations, the village is also set to roll out new $1,000 fines for people or businesses that fail to follow them.

The fines include failing to install, maintain or connect a grease interceptor, as well as failing to keep records for the grease interceptor, among other offences.

As of the time of writing, the village’s council had not voted on whether to move forward with the bylaw.

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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