Special Waste Generators

Notice: Houston Public Works and Houston Health Department are proposing changes to Chapter 47. 

These changes have become necessary to comply with State and Federal Requirements and to align Houston’s oil and grease discharge requirements with those of other Texas cities. Reducing O/G limits from 400 mg/L to 200mg/L over a two-year phase-in will allow local business to plan ahead and modify operations, access trap cleaning frequency and ensure that grease traps are in good working order.

Proposed ordinance changes. Submit comments to: Pretreatment@houstontx.gov

You are a special waste generator if you own or manage a:

  • Restaurant
  • Car wash
  • Lube station
  • Laundromat or dry cleaner
  • Apartment complex with ten or more washing machines per section
  • Establishment with an interceptor (grease trap, lint trap, oil/water separator, lift station, grit trap)
  • Septic tank (residential or commercial)

Residential Septic Tank Waste Generators

Domestic septic tank waste generators are required to register their septic tanks before a city of Houston permitted waste hauler will evacuate the septic tank. There is no fee for a first time registration, but in the event the certificate of registration is lost, then a replacement fee will be assessed.

Generator Responsibilities

Section 47-512(b) of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances mandates that every interceptor located within the incorporated City limits must be fully evacuated at least on a quarterly basis (every 90 days) unless a Notice of Waiver application is submitted and approved.


Before your trap is cleaned, you must:

  • Inspect and verify the trap is clean and completely empty before you sign the manifest
  • Make sure your sample well is clean
  • Make sure the correct capacity of the trap is noted on the manifest
  • Sign the “generator” portion of the manifest
  • Retain the Generator copy of manifest from your transporter
  • Return Generator copy of manifest within 15 days of pump-out from the transporter

Note: Please keep generator and returned generator copies of waster manifest onsite for five years. Non-compliance with Chapter 47 Article XI can lead to the issuance of a Notice of Violation or citation for each offense committed. Citation fines range from $250 - $2000 per violation

What to Expect During Your Inspection

All establishments with interceptors will be inspected on a routine basis or if a complaint is reported. There will be no notification for inspections.

During an inspection, the investigator will need to be provided the following documents:

  • Original Fats, Oils, and Grease permit
  • Yellow and white copies of waste manifests for the past 5 years
  • Invoices from permitted biological pre-treatment company (if applicable)
  • Notice of Waiver (if applicable)
  • Copies of previous inspections

Investigators will check your trap, if necessary, and sample well to ensure that your discharge is consistent with the mandated parameters. Your dumpster, rendering oil bin, and surrounding area will also be checked for proper maintenance and upkeep. Upon completion of inspection, you will be asked to sign inspection form and citation when applicable. Copies of the inspection form will be given to you for your records.

Generator Permit Location and What to Bring with You

Permitting location for food establishments (all restaurants and other food dealers)

8000 North Stadium Drive
Houston, Texas 77054

Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Phone: 832-393-5100

  • Payment is accepted in the form of check, money order, or major credit cards, excluding American Express.
  • Must bring your account number (located on food dealer’s permit), or business name and address.
  • Permits are valid for one (1) year from the food dealer permit issue date and must be renewed annually. 

Permitting location for non-food establishments (apartments, car wash, lube station, laundromat, septic tank)

7427 Park Place Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77087

Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Phone: 832-393-5740

  • Permits are valid for one (1) year from the food dealer permit issue date and must be renewed annually. 


Information in this site was valid at the time of posting. The Houston Health Department assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies. The Houston Health Department is not responsible for the content nor does it endorse any site linked to from this site.