What is a Grease Trap?
A grease trap (or interceptor) is a special appliance, separating fats, oils and grease (FOG) from wastewater and stopping these elements from getting into the sewer system.
All commercial kitchens and eating places produce wastewater as a result of cooking – wastewater that contains FOG, that’s why these establishments are required by the law to have properly installed and maintained grease traps.
Commercial Grease Trap Installation
Some requirements to grease trap installation are as following:
- Grease traps should be connected to any unit that produces grease;
- They should be properly sized according to the size of the commercial facility and the amount of FOG it produces;
- Grease traps should have a sampling point, allowing to test the quality of liquids that leave the trap;
- They should be installed in places where they are easily accessible for proper maintenance and inspection.
How do Grease Traps Operate?
Most grease traps are passive. This means that they function without any moving or mechanical elements. When greasy wastewater enters the grease trap, it moves through a vented flow control that monitors the wastewater flow. The wastewater goes through a set of baffles that separate FOG from the water by slowing the flow. During this time lighter FOG thicken and rise to the surface. The clean water lies at the bottom of the grease trap, but it may leave the unit through an exit valve, holding the FOG within the trap until it is flushed.
These devices keep grease from entering sanitary sewer systems. Otherwise grease would cause economic, safety and environmental hazards by clogging and breaking pipes, as well as interfering with water-treatment plant operations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency quotes that about 50 % of all the 400,000 sewer blockages that happen every year are the result of FOG congealing inside the sewer pipes, and many of these cause 40,000 yearly sewer overflows. Accumulated grease may not necessarily lead to an overflow or sewer blockage but it definitely increases public maintenance and costs – costs that can sometimes exceed $100,000 per incident! Residential and commercial owners are usually the ones who suffer from the consequences, when they fail to install grease traps in their homes and business facilities.
Commercial Grease Traps Inspection
The most widespread source of FOG that cause backups are restaurants. They are susceptible to the consequential damage, whether it is in the form of lost business during temporary shut down or spoiled food as well as reputation. That’s why the use of properly sized and consistently inspected grease traps is mandated by local authorities. They require installing the grease traps in restaurants, hotels, food-processing places, supermarkets, factories, and other locations that routinely produce considerable amounts of grease that would otherwise end up in public sewers.