Grease Interceptor Requirements

Grease Interceptor Requirements

Metro Vancouver’s Food Sector Grease Interceptor Bylaw 268 requires commercial and institutional kitchens to install and maintain a grease interceptor to reduce fats, oils and grease (FOG) in the sewer system.

Fats, oils and grease in the sewer system costs the region over $2.7 million each year. They can clog sewers and cause back-ups into homes and businesses, and overflows into the environment.

How Grease Gets Into Sewers

Who Does the Bylaw Apply To?

This bylaw applies to commercial kitchens and operations that prepare, package, serve, sell or otherwise handle food in a way that produces fats, oils and grease. This includes: restaurants, fast-food operations, cafeterias, hospitals, bars, grocery stores, bakeries, coffee shops, butcher shops and other similar operations that handle food.

Main Bylaw Requirements

If you operate a commercial or institutional kitchen, you must:

  • Install a correctly sized grease interceptor that is connected to all required fixtures
  • Maintain the grease interceptor by having it pumped out by a service provider
  • Ensure that what is coming out of the grease interceptor meets bylaw limits
  • Keep records of grease interceptor cleanouts and maintenance activities

Violations may result in re-inspection fees of up to $300 or a fine. Certain violations - such as not having a grease interceptor - carry a minimum fine of $2,000.

Food Sector Bylaw No. 268, 2012

Grease and Commercial Kitchens Brochure (English)

  • Install a Correctly Sized Grease Interceptor

    A grease interceptor (or grease trap) is a device that separates fats, oils and grease from wastewater and stops it from entering the sewer system.

    Grease Interceptor

    A grease interceptor should be:

    • Connected to any fixture that generates grease
    • Properly sized - if it is too small it will fill with fats, oils and grease too quickly and will not do its job
    • Equipped with a sampling point
    • Accessible - so it can be inspected and so you can maintain it

    If you are installing a grease interceptor, use our online tool for correct sizing. You can ask Metro Vancouver to review your installation plan.

    Use our online tool to determine what size grease interceptor you need

    Grease Interceptor Installation Plan - Request a Metro Vancouver Review

  • Maintain the Grease Interceptor

    Have a service provider:

    • Fully pump out your grease interceptor when fats, oils, grease and solids reach 25% of the total liquid depth OR every 90 days, whichever occurs first
    • Inspect all components that may affect its proper operation
  • Meet Bylaw Limits

    Wastewater leaving the grease interceptor must not exceed 300 mg/L of oil and grease and 600 mg/L of solids. Proper maintenance is the key to meeting these limits. Do not use enzymes or other agents that will allow grease to pass through the grease interceptor and into the sewer.

  • Keep Records

    Metro Vancouver bylaw enforcement officers may inspect your grease interceptor and your maintenance records. You must:

    • Keep a record of grease interceptor cleanouts and maintenance activities.
    • Have two years of records on hand and available for inspection.
    • Have someone on site who can open the grease interceptor for inspection.

What to Do After We Inspect

If you have received a Notice of Violation letter after Metro Vancouver has conducted a compliance inspection, here are the next steps to take.

If you have questions about the letter you received, call or email your assigned officer.

  • Grease Interceptor Installation, Replacement or Connecting Fixtures

    • If a grease interceptor needs to be installed, replaced or fixtures need to be connected, call a plumber or other service provider.
    • Grease interceptors must be selected according to our:
       Approved Grease Interceptor Selection Methodology
    • The service provider can provide advice on how to configure a solution for your specific situation.
    • If you don’t know which fixtures are connected to a grease interceptor, call a plumber or other service provider to trace pipes back to the grease interceptor. This is best done with an empty grease interceptor.
    • If you would like Metro Vancouver to review your grease interceptor installation plan, replacement plan, or fixture connection plan, please fill out this form:
       Grease Interceptor Installation Plan – Request for Review
  • Cleaning the Grease Interceptor

    • If the grease interceptor contained greater than 25% fats, oils, grease, and solids, you must have it pumped out and cleaned immediately, then provide us with the documentation from your service provider.
    • If your grease interceptor is undersized, you may be required to clean it out more often until you install a properly sized unit. The letter will specify a minimum frequency.

Contact Us

​We can help with questions about the technical requirements of the regulation.