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The food handling and preparation industry includes any business* undertaking processes that involves the preparation, production, distribution and/ or cooking of food. These processes and their associated cleaning activities produce both solids and greasy wastewater, which is to be disposed of in a responsible manner.

The grease, fats and solids contained in wastewater can accumulate both in your drains and our wastewater system, resulting in odorous and toxic gases, corrosion, blockages and wastewater overflows. Blockages and overflows impact the community and our ability to provide customers effective wastewater services.

Under the Water Services Act 2012, all businesses involved in the food handling and preparation industry must apply for a trade waste permit before discharging any waste into our wastewater system.

During the trade waste application assessment process, our officers assess if you require trade waste discharge pre-treatment, such as an approved type of grease arrestor, commercial type in-sink floor or floor strainer unit based on the type of activities being undertaken. In general, businesses that prepare and cook food will require a grease arrestor.

*Any person, organisation or entity (commercial or non-commercial) that produces a trade waste (as defined in Water Services Act 2012).

Grease arrestors & pre-treatment

  • Grease arrestors reduce the amount of greasy waste flowing into the wastewater system by allowing fats, oil and grease to rise to the top and solids to sink to the bottom.
  • Commercial type in-sink and floor strainer units reduce the amount of solids and other waste material being discharged into the wastewater system.
  • Your grease arrestor must meet current Water Corporation sizing requirements.
  • To operate efficiently, a grease arrestor must be serviced according to the pump out frequency shown on your trade waste permit.

Who needs grease arrestors & pre-treatment?

The table below shows typical pre-treatment requirements for different types of food handling and preparation businesses.

Minimum pre-treatment required Examples of typical business

Installation of a Water Corporation accepted grease arrestor

  • Cafes and Restaurants
  • Lunch Bar and Deli 
  • Takeaway shops
  • Fish and Chips
  • Kebab Shops
  • Butcher Shops
  • Bakeries (pies, cream cakes etc)
  • Function Centres
  • Taverns/Hotels
  • Quick Service Restaurants
  • Catering Establishments
  • Food Manufacturing
  • School Canteens (cooking)
  • Care Facilities (cooking)
Commercial type in-sink and floor strainer units
  • School Canteen (no cooking)
  • Fish Retail (wet processing)
  • Bakery (bread only, no pies or cakes)
  • Takeaway Pizza only (no other type of food)
  • Childcare Centres 
  • Donut Shop

If your business type isn't listed here, please contact

The servicing of your grease arrestor must be performed by a licensed liquid waste contractor. Their service includes cleaning of the grease arrestor and transportation of the pumped out waste to an appropriate waste treatment and disposal facility.

Pump out frequencies will depend on the size of the grease arrestor and the nature and volume of wastewater produced by your business.

Pump out frequencies are determined when we assess your trade waste application. The frequency is set as a condition of your trade waste permit.

Your responsibilities are to:

  • Have your grease arrestor serviced at the frequency shown on your trade waste permit
  • Use a licensed liquid waste contractor (LWC)
  • Report pump outs to us within 7 days
  • Maintain good housekeeping practices

Your frequency can be re-assessed by request, subject to the following conditions:

  • A grease arrestor frequency re-assessment charge will apply
  • Re-assessments may also result in an increase to the pump out frequency
  • The re-assessment process will involve a number of inspections to determine the point of grease arrestor failure
  • To request a re-assessment, please complete our grease arrestor maintenance frequency re-assessment form

Food handling and preparation establishments such as restaurants, cafes and lunch bars produce greasy wastewater from food preparation and cleaning activities, and are required to dispose of this waste in a responsible manner.

The grease and fat contained in wastewater can accumulate in internal drains and our sewer system, resulting in blockages and effluent overflows to the environment.

The potential cost to your business associated with a drain or sewer system blockage can be significant, not only in finding and clearing the blockage but also the effect it has on the normal operation of your business. You should be aware that if a sewer system blockage is attributable to your business, you may be required to pay the substantial cost for removing the blockage and the associated cleanup.


To limit the amount of greasy wastewater discharged to the sewer system, we require businesses to have some form of wastewater pre-treatment, usually in the form of a grease arrestor. The effectiveness of pre-treatment devices depends on good housekeeping practices. For example, preventing food solids and excess oil or grease being washed down the drain, and the servicing and maintenance of the grease arrestor by a licensed waste contractor at the frequency stated on your Trade Waste Permit.

Some useful tips to best manage greasy wastewater in your business and potentially save you money include:

  • Recycle used fat, oil and grease. Don't pour any oil directly down the drain or into the grease arrestor.
  • Scrape or wipe off excess food material, oil and grease from dishes, kitchen utensils and equipment prior to rinsing down the sink.
  • Use quick breakdown detergents.
  • Use sink strainers/ screens to prevent food solids from going into drains.
  • Ensure dish washers and glass washers discharge directly to sewer (bypassing the grease arrestor).
  • Ensure all grease-bearing drain lines discharge into a grease arrestor.
  • Ensure the grease arrestor is pumped out by a licensed liquid waste contractor as per the frequency stated on your trade waste permit.
  • Educate all staff members in what they can and can't put down sinks and drains. Explain the purpose and function of a grease arrestor.
  • Store any used cooking oil in a bunded area so that leaks and spills can't drain into the sewer or stormwater systems.

Correctly sized grease arrestors can be used to serve multiple businesses, such as in shopping centres or other multiple tenancy arrangements.

Who's responsible

A property owner or the owner's designated agent (such as the shopping centre manager) is legally responsible under the Water Services Act 2012 for the operation and maintenance of the shared grease arrestor. They must hold a trade waste permit for all shared grease arrestors on the property.

Permits for shared grease arrestors are subject to the standard trade waste fees and charges.

If a property owner/ agent is not willing to take responsibility for shared grease arrestors, we will require individual grease arrestors for each business.

To request a property owner/ agent's trade waste permit to manage a shared grease arrestor, please complete our application form.

Each food outlet that proposes to discharge wastewater to sewer through fixtures located within the area leased by the individual business through a shared grease arrestor, is required to also apply for a trade waste permit. Each food outlet is responsible for the waste they discharge and paying all charges associated with their trade waste permit.

The requirement to install or upgrade a grease arrestor can be a condition of your trade waste permit.

Protecting our wastewater system and providing effective wastewater services to our customers and the community is important to us. We endeavour to work with our customers to meet the conditions of their trade waste permit.

Customers who do not meet these conditions will be subject to our food handling and preparation industry non-compliance process, which may result in additional charges.

Our greasy waste compliance management program is referred to as FOGMan (fats, oils and grease management), it manages our customers’ compliance with their pump out frequency and reporting requirements.

FOGMan liquid waste contractors

A liquid waste contractor licensed by the Department of Environment Regulation is the only person who can pump out a grease arrestor. A FOGMan liquid waste contractor is a licensed contractor who has additionally agreed to comply with our Code of Practice to pump out your grease arrestor and report on your behalf to Water Corporation. We recommend you use a FOGMan liquid waste contractor.

You can use a contractor that isn't part of the FOGMan program. However, these contractors have not agreed to report pump outs to us. Therefore, it is your legal responsibility to ensure a copy of your pump out invoice is provided to us within 7 days to:

Commercial and Industrial Services
Water Corporation
Locked Bag 2
Osborne Park Delivery Centre WA 6916
Fax: 08 6330 669