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Frequently Asked Questions


How does a business or nursing home become By-Law #W-100 compliant?


All new businesses (service stations, restaurants) and nursing homes in the CBRM are encouraged to contact ACAP Cape Breton. A staff member will visit your business and complete a short survey as well as provide information about the By-Law and the type of interceptor you will need. Once you've demonstrated that you inspect and maintain your interceptor by completing and submitting maintenance logs (which you can find here), ACAP Cape Breton will provide you with a By-Law #W-100 Compliant sticker.


Survey documents:




What is the purpose of a grease or oil interceptor?


By preventing fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from traveling far from its source, whether it’s from a restaurant sink or a service station drain you’re protecting the safety of our workers (particularly in the case of flammable oils!), and our infrastructure. Wastewater piping and treatment facilities are a great example of tax dollars working at protecting public health, and our environment, by treating our waste. Keeping this infrastructure running smoothly saves money while ensuring our waste is dealt with efficiently. If your business is not yet connected to the municipal wastewater infrastructure, having an oil or grease interceptor dramatically decreases the volume of FOG reaching local water ways. 


What are the benefits of a grease or oil interceptor?


  • They minimize flow disruption and drain cleaning.

  • They improve wastewater discharge quality.

  • They’re easy to maintain.


How do interceptors work?


  • Interceptors may be installed partially recessed or recessed into the floor, or on the floor.

  • An inlet flow control fitting works to minimize flow surges and to give a controlled flow rate into the trap.

  • Perforated baffle plates opposite to the inlet minimize turbulence of oily water entering the chamber.

  • Solids and sludges are stopped by the baffle and held in the solids retaining bucket.

  • Sand and grit fall to the bottom of the solids bucket.

  • Water flows smoothly and evenly through the interceptor where oils and lighter substances rise to the surface.

  • Some designs require manual skimming of floating oil while others have oil drawing mechanisms.

  • Vent connections allow volatile gasses to be released.

  • The flow control fitting orifice is related to the flow (GMP) rating of the interceptor.

  • The larger the interceptor the higher the flow rate it can handle efficiently as well as a higher volume of oil.

  • An interceptor that is too small for your needs can result in an overload and can carry over into the municipal sewage system.  


How do I know which size interceptor I need?


Determine your flow rate from sinks & equipment:

Sink capacity (cubic inches)=Length x Width x Depth=capacity in cubic inches

Convert cubic inches to gallons=cubic inches ÷ 231=gallons

1 minute is used as a typical time to drain a standard restaurant sink.

Nova Scotia Environment

Sink flow rate is your capacity per minute i.e. 10 gallons per minute (GPM)

Adjust your result for displacement from dishes by multiplying your flow rate by 0.75

Find the discharge rating of your dishwasher and add it to your sink result.

Example using a 3 compartment pot sink:

Sink Capacity=12” x 12” x 15”=2160 x 3 compartments=6480 cu in.

6480 cu in ÷ 231=28 GPM

Adjust for displacement=28 x 0.75=21 GPM

Add your dishwasher(s) discharge flow rate to 21 GPM

Size accordingly. 


How do I maintain my interceptor?


DIY Maintenance

Most small interceptors are designed to be user friendly. Consult the instruction manual that accompanied the piece.

Skim FOG off the top of the collection chamber or remove collection trays and thoroughly wash with soap and water.


Contracting Maintenance

A quick internet search for Disposal Contractors in your area will yield some companies. 


The following is a list of Contractors in the CBRM whom you may want to learn more about:

Mill Creek Environmental Services

Atlantic Industrial Services


Atlantic Chemex

Eastern Environmental Services


Maintenance Logs

Complete the log whenever your grease interceptor is cleaned out, and submit the log to CBRM Wastewater Operations annually (e-mail:, fax: 902-563-5775). You can find online versions of the form on the home page of this website.


What are the penalties associated with By-Law #W-100?


18(1) Any person who contravenes any provision of this by law shall be liable upon summary conviction for every such offence to a penalty of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) and not exceeding fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) or in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ninety days (90) and each day that the offence continues shall constitute a new offence


18(2) Any person alleged to have violated this bylaw who is given notice of the alleged violation and where the said notice so provides for payment may pay a penalty in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00)  to the CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY  provided that said payment is made within a period of fourteen days (14) following the day on which the alleged  violation was committed and said payment shall be in full satisfaction, releasing and discharging all penalties and imprisonments incurred by the person for said violation.


What should I do if I have a spill?


Accidents happen! The difference between a mishap and a disaster could lie in a well thought out Spill Response Plan. Service Stations should have plans in place for quick containment and cleanup of spills. All staff should be trained on what to do if a spill occurs.


Spills to the CBRM sanitary sewer system must be reported to CBRM Wastewater Operations at (902) 563-5255. Major spills to the environment must be reported to Nova Scotia Environment at 1-800-565-1633.


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