Pretreatment Program

What is Pretreatment?

Pretreatment means installing, operating, and adequately maintaining pretreatment devices and/or systems to remove pollutants that could otherwise damage or obstruct the wastewater collection system or interfere with the wastewater treatment process. Pretreatment devices include gravity grease interceptors utilized to remove excess fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from food service establishments, or sand/oil interceptors to remove excess grit, sand, and petroleum oils from service stations, auto shops, car washes, and other operations.

What is the Town's Pretreatment Program?

The Town of Cave Creek ("Town") owns and operates a water reclamation facility ("Water Ranch") which converts wastewater to Class A+ reclaimed water. The treatment facility is designed to reduce the quantities of organic materials and solids in the wastewater, making it suitable for reuse. 

Wastewater is collected via a network of sewer pipes, as part of the Town's sewer collection system. The collection system comprises of pipelines, manholes, pumping stations, force mains, and other private and public structures and devices that collect and transport sewer from residential and commercial buildings to the Town's water reclamation facility.

The Town's Water Ranch is vulnerable to toxic or harmful pollutants from commercial and residential users.

The objectives of the Town's Pretreatment Program are to:

  • Protect the environment, by facilitating the control of pollutant discharges into the collection system
  • Reduce and eliminate entry of Fats, Oils, and Greases into the collection system
  • Resolve collection system blockages and capacity reduction issues to reduce odor and service interruptions
  • Protect the treatment facility from upsets by maintain high effluent and biosolids quality
  • Educate users  on the Do's and Don'ts 

What is FOG?

FOG stands for Fats, Oils and Grease, all of which can severely damage the Wastewater System. When poured down the drain, FOG can cause problems in sewers causing major damage and lead to sewage back-ups in your home or business. Sewer overflows and backups can cause health hazards, damage home interiors, and potentially harm the environment. An increasingly common cause of overflows is sewer pipes blocked by grease.

Too often grease is washed into the plumbing system, usually through the kitchen sink. Over time the grease can build up and block the entire pipe. Home garbage disposals do not keep grease out of the plumbing system. Commercial additives, including detergents, that claim to dissolve grease may pass grease down the line and cause sanitary sewer backup in your home, in the municipal sewer system, or to the environment. 

Commercial establishments may have grease traps or interceptors that keep grease out of the municipal sewer system. For a grease trap or interceptor to work correctly, it must be properly designed, sized, manufactured, and installed to handle the amount that is expected. Routine, often daily, maintenance of grease traps and interceptors is needed to ensure proper operation. 

What Not to Flush

The wastewater collection system is only designed to handle a few basic things: water, human waste, and toilet paper. Flushing anything else can mean big problems for private sewer pipes and the public system. 

Keep these common disposal items OUT of your toilet (or sinks): 

  • Baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, and so-called "flushable" wipes
  • Diapers
  • Facial tissues
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Sanitary napkins and tampons
  • Condoms
  • Toilet bowl scrub pads or "Swiffer" type pads
  • Wash cloths, towels, rags, clothing, or any cloth items
  • Dental floss
  • Sheet plastic or plastic of any kind
  • Eggs shells, nutshells, coffee grounds, or any food items
  • Fats, oils, or grease
  • Hair

For more information on compliance with the Town's pretreatment program, refer to the pretreatment tabs below.

For questions contact or 480-488-6619.

  1. Commercial Pretreatment
  2. Residential Pretreatment

Commercial Pretreatment

Guidance on commercial pretreatment requirements (including FOG) and the Town's third-party contractor SwiftComply.  The Town utilizes SwiftComply to administer our Pretreatment Program record keeping of Commercial Users of the collection system.

All Commercial Sewer Users and their haulers who maintain  traps or interceptors are required to register with SwiftComply.  Register for SwiftComply and begin uploading manifests and maintenance records. Haulers can register by emailing their information to SwiftComply 

Reports, with the hauler's manifest attached should be uploaded to your SwiftComply profile account. Manifests need to be uploaded on a routine basis (typically every 30-days for Traps and 90-days for Interceptors). 

Benefits to your business

  • It's Easy! Upload records on your computer or mobile device or have your service provider do it for you.
  • It's Secure! Your records are confidential and viewable only by you, your service provider, and Town fats, oils, and grease (FOG) inspectors. And since they're online, you'll never lose another record.
  • It's Compliant! Completed records uploaded to this service are compliant with Chapter 50: Sewers of the Cave Creek Town Code. Your FOG inspector can review your compliance without inspecting your facility. If an issue arises, we'll work with you to resolve it, saving you time.
  • It's Free! Store your grease control device maintenance records online at no cost to your business.

Pumpers and Haulers 

The following list of pumpers and haulers have been onboarded and is registered with SwiftComply. This list is provided as a courtesy and is not a complete list of all the suppliers of this type of service. It is the responsibility of the person who is hiring any of these companies to verify their qualifications and references as well as their compliance with regulations on handling and transporting waste. 

List Coming Soon 


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Required Steps for Commercial Users with Traps or Interceptors

  1. Install proper Pretreatment/FOG control equipment.
  2. Maintain (routinely clean or pump out) interceptors and traps.  
  3. Upload records to SwiftComply, the Town's Pretreatment Program record keeping system.
  4. Train staff to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control FOG.
  5. Keep hoods clean. Wash hood filters in sinks that flow to grease control devices attached to the sanitary sewer systems.

The grease and solids layers inside interceptors must not exceed 25% of the total volume.
Town authorized inspectors will check interceptors and traps for compliance.

Best Management Practices and Educational Materials

In order to manage FOG and prevent sewer blockages, backups, and overflows commercial users must follow the best management practices below:

BMPs for Control of FOG Commercial Opens in new window