The Commercial Business of Grease Traps
Grease traps (also known as grease interceptors, grease converters, and grease recovery devices) are strategically placed traps in drains and waste pipes that hold fats, oils, and greases (known as FOG). Engineers design grease traps to prevent FOG from entering sewer systems, where these substances can cause serious plumbing clogs, sewer backups, and overflows. It's vital that grease traps remain functional to preserve your drain's sanitation and safety potential.
Service Pumping & Drain Company provides grease trap cleaning services to clients throughout the Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire area. For over 50 years, we've furnished our customers with premier preventative and 24-hour emergency maintenance services for commercial grease traps. Our experts have the requisite skills and experience to deliver rapid and high-quality service to each client.
How Do Grease Traps Work?
Grease traps are made up of five basic components that allow them to separate most FOG and solids from the outgoing wastewater:
- An inlet pipe, through which the wastewater enters the trap
- A flow rate controller, which is located just before the trap entrance
- Baffles, or metal barriers within the trap that protrude upwards and downwards
- Cool water previously stored within the trap
- An outlet pipe, which directs the mostly FOG- and solid-free wastewater into the sewer
How does the grease trap intercept the fats, oils, greases, and other solids in the wastewater? It's important to realize that FOG particles, when cooled, become lighter than water, and will therefore accumulate on the water's surface. In contrast, when there is a slow flow rate, solids will sink to the bottom of the water stream. Thus, commercial grease traps slow the flow rate of incoming water and cool it at the same time, and then they release it to the sewage system. This process separates both FOG and solid particles from the outgoing stream.
The Basic Steps of the Grease Trap Process:
- The flow rate controller slows the incoming wastewater before it enters the trap.
- Cool water previously contained in the trap causes FOG particles to harden and float.
- As the water cools, the trap's baffles also slow the flow of the wastewater. Baffles that protrude upwards trap the solid particles at the bottom, while downward baffles trap the floating FOG particles at the water's surface.
- The remaining wastewater, now with only trace amounts of FOG particles left, flows through the outlet pipe into the sewer.
Commercial grease traps typically have a holding capacity of 1,000–2,000 gallons. They're buried underground in a broad trench that sits upon a solid cement footing. This trench is located between the building's plumbing system and the sewer.
Regular cleaning and maintenance are critical to the ongoing usefulness of a commercial grease trap. Even though business owners may have a lot on their plate, they shouldn't neglect grease trap maintenance. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that “nearly half of all the 400,000 sewer blockages that occur annually are caused by grease, and many of these contribute to the 40,000 annual sewer overflows.” Furthermore, major cleanup costs can exceed $100,000 per incident.
Large establishments such as universities, hospitals, and restaurants generate significant amounts of waste. Restaurant owners in particular need to closely monitor their current procedures for grease trap cleaning and maintenance. Waste from grilled, fried, and baked foods results in high amounts of FOG particles accumulating in the trap on a daily basis.
What are Some Ways That you Can Better Maintain your Grease Trap?
- Schedule periodic cleanings. If possible, be sure not to skip any scheduled cleaning.
- Avoid using your grease trap as a “catchall” trash can. Sink strainers can prevent an unnecessary amount of solid waste from entering the trap. Be sure to scrape off food waste into a trash receptacle before washing dishes.
- Do what you can to keep your grease trap cool, which will promote the separation of FOG particles from the wastewater.
- Regularly inspect your grease trap. Look for indications of wear, rust, or leakage on the trap's baskets, strainers, screens, and gaskets.
- When it's time to pump your grease trap, ensure that you completely empty the trap from top to bottom.
- During the cleaning process, thoroughly scrape all sides and surfaces of the grease trap, including the baffles and the bottom of the trap.
- Promptly replace any trap component that shows signs of wear.
- Hire professional services who know the details of grease traps inside and out.
Grease Trap Experts Since 1927
Don't leave your commercial grease trap cleaning to chance. At Service Pumping & Drain Co., superior service is one of our defining characteristics, and our attention to detail separates us from the rest.
Since our company's inception in 1927 in Wakefield, MA, we've consistently sought to deliver top-quality service to businesses and utilities across the region. Our well-trained group of dedicated professionals collaborates as a team toward the common goal of maintaining clean and open sewage pipes. We consider it extremely important to deliver efficient, high-quality service to each of our customers in a friendly manner.
Our fleet of 20+ well-maintained service vehicles carries our staff all over the greater Boston and southern New Hampshire regions, and from there, our expert employees can do the rest. We consider our exceptional service, prompt response time, and personalized attention as points of pride.
While much of our work involves commercial grease trap cleaning and maintenance, we also provide a wide variety of other services to our clients, all of which are designed to increase your septic system’s longevity and ensure its smooth operation.
Some other services include:
- We pump preexisting holding tanks
- Our high-pressure water jetting service equipment, with force capacities up to 4,000 PSI, can thoroughly clean or wash down grease traps, sewer lines, storm drain lines, digester tanks, pump chambers, and sediment traps
- We use 4,000- and 5,000-gallon vacuum pump trucks for maximum cleaning efficiency
- We transport all FOG particles to our Beneficial Reuse and Recycling Facility for environmentally efficient recycling and reprocessing
- We provide state-of-the-art pipeline video inspections
The Far-Reaching Impact of Grease Traps
Preventing solid waste from entering your grease trap is vital to preserving the health of your community and its infrastructure. Restaurateurs and others in the hospitality industry especially must take steps to prevent clogs from occurring in their grease traps. Fibrous and other rigid foods, including asparagus, rice, pasta, and bones, should never be allowed to enter grease traps.
Proper maintenance of your grease trap can also help protect nearby storm water structures from debris and contaminants. Keeping these structures clear of such outside substances can prevent costly flood damage in adjacent residential and commercial areas.
Schedule Your Grease Trap Service Today
Service Pumping & Drain Co. has over 50 years of experience in the field, servicing grease traps throughout eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. We have state-of-the-art equipment, dedicated and well-trained employees, and a commitment to excellence. Let us provide you with premier grease trap maintenance service—whether you require preventative cleaning or emergency repairs, we’re here to help.