FOG Program: helping the environment for years to come

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many try to keep fats, oils, and grease out of their bodies, but trying to keep it out of our environment can be another challenge.

Panama City has implemented a new program to keep our waterways pollutant-free. (WJHG)

"BMPs, Best Management Practices are where you practice putting in strainers on your drains, wiping down your plates and your platters and your cooking utensils before you actually wash them," said the Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Program Inspector, Danny Mcardle.

While those practices are crucial to keeping our environment clean, specialists are working toward taking the extra step with restaurants and businesses.

"The FOG Ordinance is designed to keep the grease... the fats, oils, and grease out of our sanitary sewer system," said Mcardle.

To keep the area clean, part of this ordinance requires businesses and restaurants to take some action by getting grease control equipment and having a certified grease hauler collect the grease from the interceptor and properly dispose of it.

"To ensure that we are properly disposing of our grease, we get it cleaned out once every 90 days," said the owner of Tudor's Biscuit World, Cara Schirtzinger.

While restaurants are responsible for containing their own grease, their clean water is then sent to the wastewater treatment plant where it's then processed and sent back into the bay, helping to complete the goal of the ordinance.

"Stop the grease from coming to the plants, stop the sanitary sewer overflows that go down into the storm drains, lead to the waters of the State of Florida, keeping the beaches clean, keeping the environment clean, that's the main focus," said Mcardle.

Businesses and restaurants have a year to come into compliance with the ordinance.

Representatives for the City will visit each establishment to educate personnel on the FOG Program.

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