Rehoboth Introduces Fats, Oils and Grease Ordinance

By Chris Flood.

Looking to keep the city’s stormwater system as clean as possible, Rehoboth Beach has introduced an ordinance increasing the responsibility of restaurants to maintain equipment and to keep better records of disposal.

Introduced during a commissioner workshop Oct. 5, the ordinance takes aim at the disposal of fats, oils and grease coming from the city’s restaurants.

Public Works Director Kevin Williams began his presentation by reminding commissioners the proposed ordinance was a result of stormwater testing required by Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control when it approved Rehoboth’s ocean outfall permits.

Williams said the testing showed much higher levels of bacteria in the city’s commercial district. He said the studies also highlighted deficiencies in some of the city’s infrastructure.

City code already has a section dealing with grease interceptors, recordkeeping and violations, but City Code Enforcement Officer Dennis Jeney said the new ordinance is much more thorough.

As proposed, requirements would include restaurants keeping a maintenance log and record of cleanout dates; cleanouts being performed by a licensed sewer handler; waste being stored in steel or plastic leakproof containers; and equipment being maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.