Compliance Rules in Florida

Wastewater management involves the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the FDEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection). No doubt, these agencies put pressure on the local cities and counties to enforce their regulations. Incidentally, the city and state inspectors need to keep restaurant owners, property management companies, etc. in compliance regarding their grease traps, lift stations, stormwater systems, etc. In other words, the agencies require hauling manifests (see below) for all wastewater removed from the wastewater collection systems. Inspectors also require businesses to keep their systems clean and do so on a regular basis. If the agency does not receive a manifest, they will serve a warning or levy a fine.

Surprise Grease Trap Visits

For instance, inspectors make surprise visits to businesses. Likewise, an inspector takes samples of a system component. Furthermore, agents can determine if a system is cleaned as required and/or correctly. As a consequence, the inspector will usually make the business correct this problem with warnings and possibly fines. In addition, the intent of all of these agencies is to protect the human and environmental health and safety of Florida. Lastly, if executed correctly and efficiently, inspections will comply with state regulations. However, some counties and cities do not currently enforce the regulations. It is up to the business owner to find out about the compliance rules. In fact, these rules and requirements vary from county to county or city to county.


Hauler manifests are reporting forms issued by individual city or county enforcement agencies. Contractors report all wastewater removed from the collection system, private or public. Agencies maintain a list of grease traps to enforce compliance. New establishments need to obtain a hauling contractor with a state license. The enforcing agency will expect timely and regular manifests.

Manifest Details Include:

Details on wastewater maintenance include the number of gallons pumped, disposal of the wastewater, and the tank condition. If a manifest is not sent on time, the agency will visit the business. Usually, the agency sends a warning letter for the owner to come into compliance immediately. In short, if compliance is not met, the agency may levee a fine.

Grease Trap Rules

  • Restaurant owners should pump their grease trap every 3 months.
  • Under-the-sink grease traps need an inspection every week.
  • Lift stations need an inspection every month.
  • Each of these may vary per location and condition of the system.

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