Restaurant Grease Blocks Sewer

Benwood’s sewer system is getting clogged with grease from local restaurants, prompting city leaders to craft a proposed ordinance establishing regulations for grease and food waste control at Benwood businesses.

The measure would require any newly constructed restaurant – or restaurant that renovates – to submit to the city their plan for dealing with grease discharged from their establishment.

Any existing food service facility also could be required to provide their ideas for disposing of food waste.

All restaurants located in Benwood also would have to install at their own expense an approved, properly operated and maintained grease trap separate from the city’s sanitary sewer system, and garbage disposals and dishwashers in the restaurant would have to be hooked to the grease trap.

The businesses would be required to pump out the grease trap at least once every four months, or more frequently if determined necessary by the city code enforce to prevent grease from entering the sanitary sewer system. The restaurants would have to keep a log of when their traps were last pumped.

Mayor Ed Kuca said the ordinance became necessary after a sewer line in North Benwood became so clogged city workers couldn’t clear it even after nearly two days of trying, and an outside company had to be called in to assist.

“They tried for a day and a half, and it was just too much for our guys to do,” Kuca said.

The next meeting of Benwood City Council would typically take place on the second Tuesday of next month – or May 13, Election Day in West Virginia. That meeting has been canceled. Council will next meet to consider the ordinance at 7 p.m. May 27.