What is a Grease Trap and its Function?

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What is a Grease Trap and its Function?

This article provides some basic information on grease traps or grease interceptor and the level of maintenance required to keep a grease trap system functioning at an optimum performance. We will explain why a grease trap system requires pumping and some basic information on the inspection and preventative maintenance of a grease trap.

Restaurants, Food Service Establishments (FSEs) and food manufactures typically are all require installing an inline grease trap. The purpose of a grease trap is to separate and to capture fats, oil and greases (FOG) before they pass into the waste water treatment part of the system. The waste water treatment area may be a septic tank and drain field located behind the facility or the city waste water treatment facility located miles away.

The type and size of the grease trap system requires is determined by calculating the gallons per minute and the amount of food being prepared. For example: Subway Sandwich Shop may require a 25 gallon system where a company that manufactures a variety of pre cooked meals may require a much larger system ranging from 1,000 gallons to 60,000 gallons. Grease traps are usually located between the sink or dish washer and the line that leads outside of the building flowing out to the septic drain field or city sewer system.

Municipalities across the US are adopting regulation that will force restaurants and manufactures to comply with fats, oil and grease inspections and record keeping that will document when grease trap pump outs are being performed.

As rule of thumb, grease trap treatment should be cleaned and pumped as required unless directed by your local municipality to pump out more frequently. Grease traps and grease trap interceptors will typically start to produce odors after a few weeks. In some cases strong odors from grease traps will permeate through the restaurant, this will in fact cause the restaurant owner business. The restaurant may be exceptionally clean; however, the awful odor coming from a grease trap will leave an unforgettable image in a potential customers head as he walks out the door never to return.

Grease trap bacterial enzyme additives are becoming more and more popular among restaurant owners and food service manufactures. Bacterial additives digest fats, oils and greases, converting them into water and carbon dioxide with virtually no by-products. Bacterial additives will eliminate grease trap odors, strong smells, reducing the need for expensive pump outs.

The cost of a grease trap pump out can range from $50.00 to several thousand dollars depending on the size of your tank and the amount of grease build up to be pumped. For example, ice cream shops grease trap should have light or no grease buildup. A Stake house would produce more grease and require more frequent pump outs.

The key to maintaining a grease trap is to use a beneficial bacterial additive on a regular basis. Bacteria automatic metering pumps are affordable and can save you money in product usage by measuring each dose and save time treating the system automatically. Bacteria will also save you money and time in costly pump outs while controlling grease trap odors.

By: Bradley Skierkowski