Grease traps have been used throughout the world since the 19th century to capture oils, fats, and greases, thus preventing them from entering the wastewater sewage system. This function is especially important in commercial kitchens, restaurants, and catering services, as the high amount of food processed has a high potential of introducing large quantities of grease in sewage pipelines. Grease traps play an important role in helping commercial kitchens and other food and beverage operations to protect sewage systems and the environment.

Ranging in sizes from 30 liters to metric tons, grease traps are typically located outside of a main building, in the ground near a commercial kitchen’s dishwashing station, or in basements. Proper maintenance of these grease traps is important for every such business to ensure smooth drain operation and compliance with regulations.

Maintaining Your Commercial Trap

Grease Trap Cleaning

There are myriad ways in which a non-functioning grease trap can affect your business. Without proper maintenance, a grease trap can leak oils and fats into the sewage system. These oils and fats afterwards cool and harden within the sewage pipelines, potentially causing obstructions and sewage back-up into the kitchen. This can impact the sanitary level of the kitchen, in addition to lengthy downtime and unexpected plumbing expenses.

Moreover, most local authorities have rules and regulations regarding the operation of restaurants and catering services, imposing fines on companies that fail to meet requirements regarding use of their sewer system, and/or jeopardizing the environment.

In order to ensure proper grease trap operation, there are a number of cleaning and maintenance steps that need to be followed, such as:

  • Maintaining a regular periodic grease trap cleaning schedule, using the appropriate equipment.
  • Inspecting grease trap critical components, such as baskets, strainers, screens, and gaskets for signs of rust, wear, or leakages.
  • Emptying traps through grease trap pumping, all the way to the bottom.
  • Scraping all sides of grease traps clean, as well as baffles, and bottom of the grease trap.
  • Replacing any grease trap parts with evidence of wear.
  • Clean pipelines before and after the grease trap using a high pressure water jet. In this cleaning method, a hose with powerful jets in inserted into the pipeline, removing any traces of solid fats or debris that may be blocking normal grease trap operation.

Grease Trap Maintenance

There are several different concerns that demonstrate the importance of having your grease traps regularly maintained. These include:

  • Health and Safety – Improper grease trap maintenance can result in grease trap backups, waste water leakages, or bad odors within the kitchen, jeopardizing the cleanliness and safety of your kitchen and food processing facilities.
  • Regulations – Your business should comply with state and federal laws referring to grease trap operation and maintenance, since most jurisdictions require regular grease trap maintenance every 90, 60, or 30 days, depending on the municipality. Violating those regulations can lead to substantial fines and penalties.
  • Environment – Oils floating on the top layer of sewage water are very slowly broken down through an anaerobic digestion process within the septic tanks of the sewage system. Lack of regular grease trap maintenance means large amounts of oil passing through and overwhelming a septic tank or treatment facility, causing the release of untreated oils into sewage, something that can have a severe environmental impact.

Due to these reasons, businesses should take steps to ensure proper documented grease trap maintenance, including:

  • Identifying and recognizing all grease trap maintenance needs.
  • Seeking grease trap services from experts and taking all necessary precautions for preventive maintenance rather than reactive maintenance whenever a grease trap malfunctions.
  • Informing and training personnel on the importance of proper grease trap operation.

Grease Trap Services from Service Pumping & Drain Co., Inc.™

With over 50 years of field service experience in the greater area of Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, Service Pumping & Drain Co., Inc.™ has the equipment and expertise to provide you with excellent preventative and 24-hour emergency grease trap maintenance services.

Request your quote today or contact an expert and get assistance with the hassles and regulatory paperwork surrounding grease trap cleaning and maintenance.