Pretreatment & Fats, Oil & Greases (FOG) Program
What is Pretreatment?
Pretreatment is about setting up and taking care of traps and interceptors before wastewater goes into treatment. These tools help take out harmful stuff from the water, like extra fats or oils from restaurants, or grit and oils from places like gas stations and car washes. It's important to do this so that the wastewater system doesn't get damaged and can work properly.
What is the Town's Pretreatment Program?
The Town of Cave Creek ("Town") owns and operates a water reclamation facility ("Water Ranch") which converts wastewater to Class A+ reclaimed water. The treatment facility is designed to reduce the quantities of organic materials and solids in the wastewater, making it suitable for reuse.
Wastewater is collected via a network of sewer pipes, as part of the Town's sewer collection system. The collection system comprises of pipelines, manholes, pumping stations, force mains, and other private and public structures and devices that collect and transport sewer from residential and commercial buildings to the Town's water reclamation facility.
The Town's Water Ranch is vulnerable to toxic or harmful pollutants from commercial and residential users.
The objectives of the Town's Pretreatment Program are to:
- Protect the environment, by facilitating the control of pollutant discharges into the collection system
- Reduce and eliminate entry of Fats, Oils, and Greases into the collection system
- Resolve collection system blockages and capacity reduction issues to reduce odor and service interruptions
- Protect the treatment facility from upsets by maintain high effluent and biosolids quality
- Educate users on the Do's and Don'ts
What is FOG?
FOG stands for Fats, Oils, and Grease, and they can really mess up the Wastewater System. When you pour FOG down the drain, it can clog up the sewers and cause big problems, like sewage backing up into your home or business. This isn't just gross—it's also unhealthy and can damage your property and the environment.
One big reason for these problems is grease blocking sewer pipes. Grease often gets washed into the plumbing system, especially from the kitchen sink. Over time, the grease builds up and can completely block the pipes. Even garbage disposals can't stop grease from causing trouble. And those special additives or detergents that claim to dissolve grease? They might just push the grease further down the line, causing backups in your home, in the city sewer system, or in nature.
But some businesses use grease traps or interceptors to keep grease out of the city sewer system. These traps need to be the right size and properly maintained to work well. That means they have to be cleaned out regularly, sometimes every day, to keep things running smoothly.
What Not to Flush
The wastewater collection system is only designed to handle a few basic things: water, human waste, and toilet paper. Flushing anything else can mean big problems for private sewer pipes and the public system.
- Baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, and so-called "flushable" wipes
- Facial tissues
- Napkins and paper towels
- Sanitary napkins and tampons
- Toilet bowl scrub pads or "Swiffer" type pads
- Wash cloths, towels, rags, clothing, or any cloth items
- Dental floss
- Sheet plastic or plastic of any kind
- Eggs shells, nutshells, coffee grounds, or any food items
- Fats, oils, or grease
For more information on compliance with the Town's pretreatment program, refer to the pretreatment tabs below.
For questions email Pretreatment or phone 480-488-6619.
Guidance on commercial pretreatment requirements (including FOG) and the Town's third-party contractor SwiftComply. The Town utilizes SwiftComply to administer our Pretreatment Program record keeping of Commercial Users of the collection system.
All Commercial Sewer Users and their haulers who maintain traps or interceptors are required to register with SwiftComply. Register for SwiftComply and begin uploading manifests and maintenance records. Haulers can register by emailing their information to SwiftComply
Reports, with the hauler's manifest attached should be uploaded to your SwiftComply profile account. Manifests need to be uploaded on a routine basis (typically every 30-days for Traps and 90-days for Interceptors).
Benefits to your business
- It's Easy! Upload records on your computer or mobile device or have your service provider do it for you.
- It's Secure! Your records are confidential and viewable only by you, your service provider, and Town fats, oils, and grease (FOG) inspectors. And since they're online, you'll never lose another record.
- It's Compliant! Completed records uploaded to this service are compliant with Chapter 50: Sewers of the Cave Creek Town Code. Your FOG inspector can review your compliance without inspecting your facility. If an issue arises, we'll work with you to resolve it, saving you time.
- It's Free! Store your grease control device maintenance records online at no cost to your business.
Pumpers and Haulers
The following list of pumpers and haulers have been onboarded and is registered with SwiftComply. This list is provided as a courtesy and is not a complete list of all the suppliers of this type of service. It is the responsibility of the person who is hiring any of these companies to verify their qualifications and references as well as their compliance with regulations on handling and transporting waste.
List Coming Soon
Required Steps for Commercial Users with Traps or Interceptors
- Install proper Pretreatment/FOG control equipment.
- Maintain (routinely clean or pump out) interceptors and traps.
- Upload records to SwiftComply, the Town's Pretreatment Program record keeping system.
- Train staff to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control FOG.
- Keep hoods clean. Wash hood filters in sinks that flow to grease control devices attached to the sanitary sewer systems.
The grease and solids layers inside interceptors must not exceed 25% of the total volume.
Town authorized inspectors will check interceptors and traps for compliance.
Best Management Practices and Educational Materials
In order to manage FOG and prevent sewer blockages, backups, and overflows commercial users must follow the best management practices below:
Cave Creek Sewer customers can do their part by being responsible with items they let go down the drain.
Items that belong in the TRASH, not the sewer:
- Flushable Wipes
- Paper Towels
- Baby Wipes & Facial Tissues
- Kitty Litter - will sooner or later clog your pipes, even the ones that claim to be "flushable." It's better to keep your cat litter and waste out of the wastewater stream and just put it in the trash.
- Condoms, Tampon Applicators, Dental Floss - these cause more problems than you'd imagine. They don't biodegrade and can cause pipes to clog.
- Hair - always seems to make its way past the plug. Hair will catch and stick to other items and is very difficult to get out of piping once it gets in. Keep hair from going into the pipes by using a fine drain screen to catch hair in your bathtub and shower and dispose of it properly in the trash.
- Household Hazardous Materials - such as motor oil, pesticides, paint and solvents should never be poured down the drain. All of these are highly toxic and will cause long term damage to the environment.
Not only can these items cost you money to repair your plumbing, but they can damage expensive Town equipment used to treat your wastewater.
Best Management Practices and Educational Materials
In order to prevent sewer blockages, backups, and overflows residential customers must follow the best management practices below: