CCWA Earns Inaugural Award For Excellence in Fats, Oils and Grease Management

December 12, 2012 by Suzanne Brown

Shown in photo: Environmental Compliance Coordinator Jennifer Brandon, Inspectors Jim Powell and Troy Usry and Water Reclamation Manager Jim Poff were recognized during CCWA's December Board Meeting for receiving a Georgia F.O.G.  Alliance Award.

Clayton County Water Authority’s (CCWA) Environmental Compliance Division recently received the Georgia F.O.G. Alliance Program of the Year Award for the 500-750 Qualifying Active Facilities category for providing an excellent fats, oils and grease management program.

The Environmental Compliance Division, sometimes referred to as the ‘grease police’, is part of CCWA’s Water Reclamation Department. Housed out of the W.B Casey Water Reclamation Facility in Jonesboro, the three member team is responsible for inspecting grease interceptors at local restaurants and other businesses. Grease interceptors, also referred to as grease traps, are designed to collect fats, oils and greases before they enter the wastewater collection system through sinks and dishwashers.

When fats, oils and greases (often referred to as FOG) enter wastewater collection systems, they can solidify and over time block the flow of wastewater in the pipe. This can lead to sanitary sewer overflows, which are very messy and expensive to cleanup. The main goal of any FOG Management Program is to keep FOG out of pipes so it does not lead to sanitary sewer overflows.

“Our Environmental Compliance staff does a great job managing our FOG Program and working with businesses here in the county,” says P. Michael Thomas, general manager of the Clayton County Water Authority. “This award is validation from our industry peers that we have a model program.”

According to Jim Poff, CCWA Water Reclamation manager, the awards process itself was beneficial to CCWA since the Environmental Compliance staff inspected some of their peers’ programs. “We learned a lot about other programs in the state and found out that our program ranks very high.”

The Georgia F.O.G. Alliance is a non-profit organization that provides information, education and networking with any municipality or local governing authority that wishes to establish or has established a Fats, Oils and Grease Program. They also offer tools for Commercial Waste Transporters as a major gateway of becoming a Legal Commercial Waste Transporter in the State of Georgia. They have a network of over 30 municipality and local governing authority members across the State of Georgia.