AT PEACE WITH THE GREASE: Avoiding Backups Before They Start

grease trap

There’s no secret to lessening grease trap problems. While backups might be impossible to avoid completely, being mindful of how you and the kitchen staff deal with grease before it enters your plumbing system can make a big difference in the frequency and the seriousness of maintenance calls.

The care and cleaning of grease traps has been one of SLM’s cornerstone capabilities since the founding of the company.  We’ve put what we’ve learned over the years into these suggestions for Best Management Practices when dealing with grease and food waste in commercial food and restaurant facilities:

Train kitchen staff and other employees about how they can help ensure Best Management Practices are implemented.

Reason: People are more willing to support an effort if they understand the basis for it.

Benefit: All the subsequent benefits of Best Management Practices will have a better chance of being implemented.

Post “No Grease” signs above sinks and on the front of dishwashers.

Reason: Signs serve as a constant reminder for staff working in kitchens.

Benefit: This will help minimize grease discharge to traps/interceptors and may reduce

the cost of cleaning and disposal.

“Dry wipe” pots, pans, and dishware prior to dishwashing.

Reason: By dry-wiping and disposing in the garbage, the material will not be sent to grease traps.

Benefit: This will reduce the amount of material collected in the grease trap and interceptors, which can lessen cleaning and maintenance costs.

Recycle waste cooking oil.

Reason: Cooking oil that ends up in grease traps will have to be pumped, resulting in extra fees during your normal service.

Cover outdoor grease and oil storage containers.

Reason: Rainwater into open containers can cause an overflow onto the ground leading to stormwater collection systems, creeks, and streams.

Benefit: Avoidance of polluting streams, creeks and other water bodies.

Do not pour grease down sinks or into toilets.

Reason: Grease poured into a toilet or sink can congeal, clogging sewer pipes and cause backups.

Benefit: Lower plumbing bills and no loss of business due to sewer backups.

Avoid or limit the use of garbage disposals.

Reason: Garbage disposals grind large food particles into small pieces. These pieces can fill up a grease trap causing backups or may require more frequent pump outs of the grease trap.

Benefit: No sewer backups and less money spent cleaning out the grease trap.

Use a three-sink compartment dishwashing system, including sinks for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing.

Reason: The three-sink system uses water less than 140ºF, whereas a mechanical dishwasher requires a minimum temperature of 160ºF.

Benefit: The facility will reduce energy costs for heating the water and operating the dishwasher.

SLM’s experts source and manage a wide variety of competitively priced facility and waste management services. Our national network of over 12,000 licensed and insured vendors provides expertise in managing waste, recycling, grease trap and cooking oil disposal, kitchen hood exhaust cleaning, property maintenance and power washing services. SLM designs and manages comprehensive facility management programs to meet your specific needs.

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