Robert F. Phillips, P.E,
STORM SEWER & SEWER: SANITARY SEWER
Restaurant Class Sanitary Billing Program
In 2017, the Common Council approved revisions to Chapter 35 of the Madison General Ordinances for the Madison Sanitary Sewer Utility to establish a sanitary sewer billing rate classification for food establishments. The composition of wastewater produced at food establishments contains higher levels of food waste as well as fats, oils, and greases, all of which cost more to treat at the wastewater treatment plant in comparison to typical wastewater from homes and office buildings. The intention of the ordinance revision is to shift the costs of treating the higher strength sewage away from standard sewer customers to the customers that generate it, as well as to encourage better maintenance of grease trap systems.
Grease Trap Maintenance
Instructions for filling out the grease trap maintenance report: Guide
Food establishments are required to submit a grease trap maintenance report annually. Reports are due before April 1 each year. A submission is required for each restaurant and food service location. If there are multiple restaurants that share a grease trap, a grease trap maintenance report will be required for each restaurant.
Failure to submit annual grease trap maintenance reports will be financially penalized and moved to Tier 3 sanitary sewer utility rates. Customer moved to the Tier 3 rate can be moved back to the Tier 1 or 2 rate with successful completion of the required maintenance and online reporting.
Tier 1 is comprised of businesses that actively participate in a recognized and approved organics (food scraps)/composting collection and recycling program and provide evidence of participation. They have a slightly lower sewer billing rates compared to the other tiers because composting leads to less food waste down the drain. More information on Tier 1 participation.
Tier 2 consists of majority of the restaurant and food establishments. These facilities have grease traps in good standing and are submitting proof of grease trap maintenance a minimum of once a year. New food establishments start at this tier by default.
Tier 3 are food establishments who have failed to submit their grease trap maintenance report.
Tier 1 Sewer Rate: Sewer Usage Charge plus 28%
Tier 2 Sewer Rate: Sewer Usage Charge plus 56%
Tier 3 Sewer Rate: Sewer Usage Charge plus 120%
Some food establishments are part of a multi-use building or strip mall and share a water meter with residential and/or non-food related businesses. If this applies to your facility, you may be subject to only a portion of your building being assessed at the Restaurant Sewer Rates.
It is strongly encouraged that facilities have separate or sub-meter(s) installed to accurately measure the businesses affected by the Restaurant Class billing rates. The following detail the steps to take to accomplish this:
If it is impractical to separately meter a multi-use building to accurately reflect the volume subject to Restaurant Class billing, the customer may petition the City Engineer for a reduction based on the mixed uses of the building using the Mixed Use Building Proration Petition Checklist.
If the petition is approved, the customer shall be billed a flat monthly fee of $10 plus a calculated percentage of the total volume based on industry averages. Refunds are not applicable to customers in the Restaurant Class for billings prior to the time of any adjustment request submitted by the customer.
Businesses that actively participate in a recognized and approved organics/food scrap composting collection and recycling program and provide evidence of participation shall be considered a Tier 1 customer for billing purposes.
Active participation is considered the following:
1b. Provide photos of designated organics collection station(s)/receptacles located in the food preparation area of the facility.
Submit evidence of 1a, 1b, and 2 annually online during annual grease trap maintenance reporting. Tier 1 billing rates will not be applied until all evidence is submitted. Retroactive rates adjustment will not apply. Customers that fail to submit proof of annual organics recycling participation, but submit grease trap maintenance shall fall to Tier 2. Customers that fail to submit proof of annual grease trap maintenance shall fall to Tier 3.
Participants may be audited with an onsite inspection by the Madison Sewer Utility for compliance.
Questions regarding the Restaurant Class billing program can be emailed to SanitarySewerBilling@cityofmadison.com .