What is a grease trap?
A grease trap, (also known as a grease interceptor) is a specially designed tank that is connected to your kitchen’s plumbing between kitchen drain lines and sanitary sewer lines. Grease traps capture the fats, oils, grease (FOG) and food solids that enters kitchen drain lines from food service activities such as food preparation, dishwashing and cleaning. The purpose of the grease trap is to prevent the FOG and food solids from entering the sewer system where they would accumulate and eventually lead to a sewer system backup and or overflow.
Why is proper grease trap maintenance so important?
A well properly maintained grease trap keeps your kitchen drain lines flowing, so your kitchen operations can run clog free. A poorly operating or improperly maintained grease trap will allow FOG to enter sewer lines, and can lead to costly plumbing clogs and backups.
An efficiently operating trap needs proper maintenance. Not removing FOG and solids from the grease interceptor frequently enough can cause private drain line blockages, back-ups, foul odors and loss of business. Even worse, a FOG obstruction in the city sewer line can cause a sewage overflow to the environment or in other buildings. The city will take enforcement actions against an FSE that causes a grease obstruction in the city sewer. The FSE could also be liable for any damages caused to other businesses or residences impacted by the obstruction.
Can kitchen practices reduce the chance of grease trap problems?
YES! Here are some quick tips on how your kitchen staff can reduce grease trap issues:
- Put oil and grease in covered collection containers and recycle.
- Scrape food scraps from dishes into the trash or compost them. Avoid using your garbage disposal.
- Remove oil and grease from dishes, pans, fryers, and griddles. Cool first before you skim, scrape, or wipe off excess grease.
- Prewash dishes and pans with cold water before putting them in the dishwasher.
- Cover kitchen sink with catch basket and empty into garbage or compost.
- Cover floor drain with fine screen and empty into garbage or compost.
- Use a grease trap or interceptor that is designed, installed, and maintained correctly.
- Check and maintain grease traps and interceptors regularly.
- Stop using your garbage disposal if possible, or try to minimize its use.
- Don’t run water over dishes, pans, fryers,and griddles to wash oil and grease down the drain.
- Don’t rinse off oil and grease with hot water.
- Don’t pour grease or oil into sinks, floor drains, or onto a parking lot or street.
- Never put solids into grease traps or interceptors.
- Do not use degreasers, enzymes or bacteria without checking with the City first.