Running a commercial kitchen comes with several concerns. A restaurant owner is obligated to follow many regulations to ensure the safety of employees, guests, and the public. You are required to have a grease trap that prevents fats, oil, and grease from entering the local water system.
Having a grease trap is one thing—maintaining it is quite another.
It is imperative that your grease trap is regularly cleaned to prevent fats, oil and grease (FOG) from mixing with water that is discharged to the sewer. The minimum cleaning frequency required for grease traps in food service facilities is 90 days. More frequent cleaning intervals, however, may be necessary to prevent your grease trap from operating poorly or improperly.
FOG can have a detrimental impact not only on your facility, but on the environment. FOG-clogged lines can back sewage up into your establishment and overflow out of manholes in parking lots and streets (UGH!). If you see floating grease or grease deposits in a cleanout “downstream” of your trap, you need to increase the cleaning frequency and initiate a more regular schedule.
There are several other compelling reasons why you should have your grease trap pumped regularly. If you allow too much grease to accumulate in your grease trap, you may notice a very foul odor. This will make your restaurant an uncomfortable, and smelly place to be.
A poorly maintained grease trap can seriously compromise your kitchen’s indoor air quality. A grease trap could also catch fire if it gets too full. And once your grease trap becomes full, grease from your kitchen will enter the municipal water system. If regulatory authorities identify your restaurant as the source of the grease, you could be facing a hefty fine.
For the sake of your safety, you should leave grease trap pumping to the professionals. Consider having a grease trap cleaning professional come at least once every 90 days to perform the following tasks:
- Measurement: First, the pump expert measures the level of FOG in your grease trap. Keeping track of this information is important for creating a reliable maintenance schedule.
- Pumping: Next, the technician places a hose into the grease trap and removes the FOG. Later, the technician disposes of the FOG in an environmentally responsible manner.
- Cleaning: Finally, the technician removes excess material that has caked onto the edges of the grease trap. He may also test various grease trap components to make sure they’re operating properly.
Grease trap pumping, and regular grease trap maintenance, is an essential part of responsibly operating a commercial kitchen.