Grease traps are found in restaurants, hospitals, churches, hotels, country clubs, nursing homes and mobile kitchens. Wherever there is food preparation or food service industry, you will find a grease trap.
This humble but important piece of kitchen plumbing is there to prevent fat, oil and grease (also known as “FOG”) from remaining in wastewater as it flows from kitchen waste lines into sewer pipes, and on to the municipal water treatment facility.
If you manage a commercial or industrial kitchen, you have a grease trap – and you need expert grease trap cleaning services to keep your grease traps in good working order.
REASON #1 WHY YOU NEED GREASE TRAP CLEANING SERVICES
As anyone who cooks can tell you, animal fat liquifies when it is heated and solidifies when it is cooled. Bacon drippings or melted butter may pour right off the plate and down the drain, but once they cool in the gray water waste line, an accumulation of FOG can literally block the sewer line.
When this happens, both gray water and sewage can back up into the business, causing contamination and noxious odors that will certainly drive away customers – and could result in a code violation.
REASON #2 WHY YOU NEED GREASE TRAP CLEANING SERVICES
In addition to protecting the health of restaurant patrons and workers, a properly functioning grease trap protects the city’s , by keeping FOG and other food waste out of city sewer lines and wastewater treatment facilities.
When a restaurant or other business with FOG effluent releases fat, oil and grease without separation in a grease trap, the city’s wastewater system can actually be shut down with giant grease plugs.
DON’T FEED THE “FATBERG”
New York City spends an average of $4.5 million each year clearing blockages held together by FOG. Most are just annoying, but a major clog can be disastrous.
The Washington Post reported that city workers in London needed three weeks to clear a two-hundred-yard “fatberg” which blocked sewer service for thousands of residents. That’s why a clean grease trap is important.
REASON #3 WHY YOU NEED GREASE TRAP CLEANING SERVICES
Releasing FOG without a grease trap is unlawful in most cities, and ordinances vary widely depending on where you live. Most jurisdictions require large grease traps, known as grease interceptors, to be cleaned at least quarterly.
The City of Boston requires that a restaurant owner clean a grease trap when 25% of the liquid level is filled with FOG.
In New York City, a restaurant owner can be fined up to $10,000 a day for each violation of grease trap laws – and the owner is required to appear in court to answer for each offense. In Seattle, fines range from $500 to $5000 per occurrence, depending on how much FOG has escaped into the sewer system.
7 MORE REASONS WHY YOU NEED GREASE TRAP CLEANING SERVICES
Avoid lost revenue due to a dining room shutdown
Avoid expensive repairs to your property or your plumbing
Avoid a terrible review from a customer who smelled a sewer backup
Avoid a lawsuit from a nearby business for negligent property damage
Avoid a lawsuit from an employee who was exposed to a raw sewage spill
Avoid a chargeback from the city to clean out or repair sewer pipes
Avoid an enforcement action by the city due to a code violation
Grease trap maintenance is an important way to protect the profitable operation of your business, and expert maintenance includes both regular grease trap cleaning and proper disposal of FOG material.
HOW DOES A GREASE TRAP WORK?
In a restaurant kitchen (or in any operation which produces FOG), waste lines from sinks, dishwashers and floor drains must be routed through a grease trap before releasing waste water into the city lines.
As shown below, gray kitchen water enters the top of the grease trap through an entry pipe and flows down, coming out of the pipe in the lower portion of the trap. This allows food solids to settle at the bottom, while FOG (fat, oil and grease) elements float to the surface of the water.
Most of this floating FOG is trapped by a barrier which only allows water to flow under to the exit pipe. This simple process of settling out solids and floating off FOG allows the water entering the exit pipe to remain relatively free of FOG, and suitable for discharge to the city lines.
WHY DOES A GREASE TRAP NEED CLEANING?
As the diagram shows, water is entering and leaving the grease trap, but the food solids and separated FOG are not going anywhere. Over time, the accumulated of solids in the bottom of the trap or FOG in the top of the trap can shut stop the water flow, or force unseparated FOG into the city sewer.
It is the responsibility of each restaurant owner to empty their grease trap and to keep it clean and in good working order. The owner is also responsible for the proper disposal of FOG removed from the top of the grease trap, as well as accumulated food sludge which removed from the bottom.
At Wastewater Treatment Services, we are your one-stop shop for grease trap cleaning services, including FOG and sludge removal, licensed hauling and disposal, full documentation of all work and long-term record keeping to support your compliance with state and city codes.
WHAT ARE THE GREASE TRAP CODES IN TEXAS?
Most municipal codes in Texas require a grease trap for any commercial or institutional food service operation. The city of Austin specifies that all grease traps must be completely emptied and cleaned by a licensed hauler at least once every three months.
However, if the grease and solids in the trap’s final compartment accumulate to 50% or more of the height of the trap in less than three months – then it must be cleaned as soon as it reaches that level.
While the ideal frequency for grease trap cleaning will vary for each business, most grease traps should be pumped out at least once every 45 days
HOW WTS DELIVERS GREASE TRAP CLEANING SERVICES
With Wastewater Transport Services professional grease trap cleaning, monitoring and regular maintenance, you can concentrate on running your business, while we concentrate on keeping your grease trap clean — and keeping your business in compliance with all local codes and regulations.
STEP ONE: WE EMPTY THE GREASE TRAP
First, our technicians empty the grease rap, applying the proper equipment and techniques for pumping out all fat, oil and grease from the top of the trap and solid sludge from the bottom.
STEP TWO: WE CLEAN THE GREASE TRAP
Once the FOG and solids are removed, we thoroughly clean your grease trap or grease interceptor to remove any hardened deposits. Our service team will schedule removal and regular cleaning visits outside of the business hours when most of our restaurant clients are serving their customers.
STEP THREE: WE CREATE THE RIGHT MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
During each visit, your WTS technician will also take grease and sludge layer measurements to determine how fast your FOG and sludge are accumulating, to set up the ideal grease trap cleaning and maintenance schedule for your food service business.
STEP FOUR: WE DISPOSE OF FOG AND SLUDGE ACCORDING TO TEXAS LAW
Most municipalities require that material from grease trap cleanings must be transported to a properly permitted disposal site by a licensed liquid waste hauler – and we’ve got you covered. Wastewater Transport Services is authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
STEP FIVE: WE HELP OUR CUSTOMER STAY IN COMPLIANCE
As a leading provider of grease trap service, Wastewater Transport Services observes all applicable regulations and best practices for material handling, hauling and disposal. We carefully document each trip ticket and we keep long-term records to make sure you avoid any compliance issues.
EMERGENCY GREASE TRAP SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE 24/7
When a FOG clog happens, this is not a job for your regular plumber. That’s why Wastewater Transport Services promises our clients FAST emergency service response, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.