Restaurants, food preparation companies, and institutional kitchens generate significant amounts of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) mixed with wastewater. If not handled properly, these materials accumulate quickly, causing clogs, attracting pests, and risking health department violations. All of these have a detrimental effect on operations and profitability.

The key to managing wastewater and FOG remediation is regularly pumping out and cleaning grease traps and interceptors. Keep reading to learn more about how to maintain grease traps and how a provider like Service Pumping & Drain Co., Inc.™ can help.

The Importance of a Regular Pumping Schedule

The most important step in maintaining clean and functional grease traps and interceptors is regular pumping. This prevents excessive build-up, backups, and potential pest and bacteria problems. Pumping frequency depends on the size of the grease trap and how much FOG typically goes into it.

Large restaurants and commercial kitchens generally require pumping more frequently, every couple of weeks or monthly. Smaller operations may be able to spread pumping out to every one or two months. Local regulations may also require more frequent pumping, so be sure to check with health department guidelines.

A good rule of thumb is to have traps pumped before their level of grease, food, and sludge surpasses about 25% of total wastewater tank capacity, or based on the trap and tank manufacturer’s recommendations. Higher volumes of grease become more costly and time-consuming to clean and pump properly. The amount of time it takes to reach the 25% threshold may vary seasonally or as business volume changes over time, so it is prudent to plan regular service at the lower end of your best estimate.

Proper Cleaning Practices

There are several ways to keep grease traps and interceptors sanitary and operating smoothly between pumpings, such as:

  • Scraping dishes into the trash before washing to reduce the amount of solids and FOG that enter the drain.
  • Installing strainers in sink drains to catch larger particles and keep them out of wastewater.
  • Never putting cooking or fryer oil or high-fat materials in the drain, even with running water. Collect and recycle oils instead.
  • As appropriate, using cooler wastewater temperatures, which helps separate FOG and solids from water more effectively and quickly.
  • Installing traps or interceptors that are sized appropriately for operational and wastewater volume.
  • Scheduling regular cleanings to prevent thick buildup of deposits, which reduces the trap’s usable volume.
  • Adding biodegradable degreasers or additives to reduce the environmental impact of FOG buildup in wastewater and toxic load on workers performing degreasing tasks.

Following these tips diligently helps maintain grease traps, interceptors, tanks, and wastewater management systems. They may also help you spread out the time between service calls.

Choose a Reputable Pumping Service Provider

It is efficient and cost-effective to work with a professional grease pumping service. This is the best way to be sure you’re using the most efficient grease trap pumping method and preventative strategies for your particular system. Experienced providers can also determine the best schedule for your needs and ways to maximize grease trap efficiency, which can actually reduce long-term maintenance costs.

Look for a provider who has experience with establishments similar in size and volume to yours, and verify that they’re licensed and insured. References and online reviews are a great starting point to gauge reputation and quality of service. Ask the provider for details on how they dispose of FOG materials and how they meet local environmental requirements.

Grease Trap Pumping From Service Pumping & Drain Co., Inc.™

At Service Pumping & Drain Co., Inc.™, we offer draining and septic services, as well as 24-hour emergency service. We also have our own local wastewater treatment facility for processing grease and food wastewater. Our well-trained staff and fleet of 20 service vehicles are always ready to provide top-notch pumping services and individualized attention for your business’s unique needs.

Contact us or request a quote to discuss your grease trap pumping and maintenance schedule.

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