Saving money on San Francisco sewers would require new mandates for businesses 

San Francisco wants to save millions of dollars a year in cleaning up sewers clogged from fats, oils and grease thrown down the drains by restaurants.

Legislation before the Board of Supervisors City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee would require food serving businesses to install specific equipment to catch the waste.

“It’s a serious problem for San Francisco. Sewers creating blockage is costing The City over $3 million annually to address,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, when he introduced the bill. The requirements are recommended by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

The commission estimates there are about 3,000 food service establishments discharging fats, oils and grease in to the waste water. Some are using grease capturing equipment is not well-maintained and more than half likely have no such equipment in place.

The average cost of the grease capturing equipment is about $2,800, not including installation or inspection fees. The agency plans to cut existing sewer charges for these businesses by 14.2 percent to finance the requirement.

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