Understanding Grease Traps: What You Need to Know

Posted on: 24 January 2024

Grease traps are essential components in some restaurants, commercial kitchens, and food-processing plants. They are designed to capture and hold fats, oils, and grease (FOG) that come from kitchen drains and prevent them from entering the sewer system. By preventing FOG from obstructing pipes and sewers, grease traps reduce the risk of sewage backups and contamination of rivers and lakes and minimize clogging problems in municipal wastewater treatment plants.

In this blog, we'll explore grease traps in detail to help you understand why they are important and how they work.

What is a grease trap?

A grease trap is a plumbing device installed between the drain and the sewer line. The process involves capturing grease and oils from wastewater, enabling the cleaner water to flow through and enter the sewage system. This mechanism ensures effective separation and promotes the passage of purified water. Grease traps are primarily made of stainless steel, plastic, or concrete and are available in different sizes and capacities depending on the facility's usage.

How do grease traps work?

Grease traps work on the principle of density. The FOG separates from the water and solid waste due to its density and settles to the bottom of the grease trap. The cleaner water then flows through the outlet and into the sewer. The FOG is then trapped in the grease trap, and once the trap reaches a certain capacity, it must be emptied and cleaned.

Why are grease traps important?

Grease traps are vital since they help prevent blockages in the sewer system. Too much FOG in the sewer lines can lead to unpleasant smells and sewage backups, causing significant problems for buildings and facilities. FOG also causes damage to wastewater treatment plants as it clogs pipes, pumps, and valves, leading to costly repairs. Neglecting grease traps can lead to hefty penalties from the local authorities since it is a legal requirement to have a grease trap installed and maintained in commercial kitchens.

How do you maintain a grease trap?

Maintaining a grease trap is crucial for its effectiveness. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to ensure that the trap is working correctly, preventing blockages and avoiding fines. The grease trap should be cleaned by a professional regularly, depending on how efficiently and often it is used. Calling in the experts will also help ensure that your trap meets the required standards of your state or local health department.