A grease trap is specifically designed to collect greases, oils, and fats before they get into any kind of wastewater disposal system, such as a septic tank. While it is true that the tiny amounts of grease found in common wastewater do indeed enter septic tanks and treatment facilities, forming a floating scum layer that is digested by microorganisms, the significant quantities of oil found in commercial kitchens or restaurants simply can’t be flushed down into wastewater disposal systems. When you put significant quantities of oil into a wastewater disposal system, you risk overwhelming the system. Furthermore, high-viscosity fats and cooking greases solidify when they are cooled, which means that pouring these greases down the drain could easily result in a blockage. In fact, according to the EPA, grease is the number one culprit when it comes to sewer blockages.
A grease trap works to capture all of these greases, oils, fats, and solids until a waste hauler service or plumber service is able to come and properly dispose of them, preventing costly blockages that could shut down your kitchen entirely. The bottom line is that in order to keep your wastewater disposal system in good working order, you need to keep your grease traps in good working order, which entails proper cleaning and regular maintenance. When it comes to cleaning and maintaining your grease traps, here is what you should know.
Minimize the amount of grease dumped down the drain. To optimize the performance of your grease trap, your best bet is to limit how much grease you are putting down your drain. The key here is to train your staff to remove as much waste and food solids as possible from all dishes before washing them.
Clean and service your grease traps on a regular basis. The number one rule of grease trap maintenance is to clean your grease trap regularly. Ideally, this cleaning should be done by a licensed grease hauler. How often you will need to clean your trap is contingent on several factors, including manufacturer specifications and level of use, but you will always want to clean the trap when 25 percent of the trap’s liquid level is grease or oil. You will also need to have your grease trap pumped by a licensed permitted waste hauler at least every three months.
Don’t hot flush your grease trap. Never continuously run hot water down your grease trap in an attempt to clean it. This continuous flushing of hot water will liquefy the grease, and as a result, it could be flushed down into the sewer, causing clogs. In order to avoid hot flushing, you should also never hook a dishwasher up to a grease trap, as this steady flow of hot water will carry residual grease into the sewer.