PALESTINE, Texas — The city of Palestine passed an ordinance Monday aimed at tackling a grease problem in the city.

"We started seeing a great need of some amendment due to the problems we were having in multi-family dwellings, where our utility crews were out there all the time jetting and removing grease," Felipe Garcia, Palestine's Utilities Director, said. 

The ordinance, which took effect Tuesday, requires all new apartments or buildings to have a grease trap to slow the buildup of grease in the city. Existing apartments and buildings do not have to install them immediately.

"We decided that anything over a four-unit apartment needed to be addressed due to the magnitude of grease they could dump on us," Garcia said. 

The lifts and sewers are not the only places being affected. 

Since grease floats, as soon as the lifts are cleaned out, it travels to the wastewater plant which leads to them having to do more cleaning of there own.  

"When they jet them, it gets sent to the wastewater plant so we have to deal with it there also," plant supervisor Mark Fletcher said. 

Fletcher believes the ordinance is only a small step in addressing the problem, but it is a positive step nonetheless. 

"I think it will help a lot, there's nothing that will cover the problems that we already have but going forward I think it will help tremendously," Fletcher said.