Commercial Grease Trap Cleaning : A Complete Guide

Commercial Grease Trap CleaningIntroduction

Did you know? The food services industry generates close to 4 billion pounds of inedible grease waste each year. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), every restaurant in the US alone generates grease waste ranging from 8,000 to 17,000 pounds. In the absence of a commercial grease trap, most of this waste ends up being discarded directly into the sewage system, or worse, local water bodies.

Commercial grease traps are assets used in commercial kitchens, hospitals and schools. If properly maintained, they can keep your business running smoothly. However, for many establishments in the food business, poorly maintained or clogged grease traps turn out to be problematic and expensive when they’re not cleaned regularly. A grease trap keeps accumulating Fats Oils and Greases (FOGs) in its tank, which over time begins to decompose and diffuse a rotting smell. If this is left untreated, the smell could become bothersome and have an adverse effect on the number of customers visiting the restaurant, eventually disrupting the company’s reputation.

Routine cleaning and maintenance of grease traps and associated equipment, keep a kitchen a healthy and safe place to cook. The removal of FOG formation also helps prevent sewers from overflowing, thereby preserving the local water bodies. Keeping the grease traps in prime condition is critical to help restaurants avoid health, hygiene and environmental consequences.

To understand the importance of grease trap cleaning, it is first necessary to understand the basics of the grease trap. In this guide, we aim to help you get familiar with the inner workings of a commercial grease trap and subsequently guide you with ways to clean them efficiently without causing any harm to the environment.

 

What is a Commercial Grease Trap?

A grease trap is a plumbing system designed to capture FOG before entering the wastewater. They are designed to capture the fats, oils, and grease, collectively known as FOG, before the waste goes down the drains from entering the public sewer system or the septic tank.

There are two primary types of grease traps- Interior and exterior traps. Interior traps are located near the kitchen sink and hold smaller amounts of FOG. Exterior traps are located outside the building and are more oversized, containing thousands of gallons. They are part of most restaurants and food service businesses’ sanitary systems.

Many cities require grease traps to be used in commercial kitchens due to their critical role in preventing costly sewer problems. Grease traps come in different sizes and primarily depend on the amount of waste your business will produce. They are usually located inside or outside of the building. Typically, the wastewater passes through the sewage, and the fat solids sink to the bottom of the tank. The air-intake valves present inside the commercial grease trap helps in preventing back pressure, thus keeping the baffles in place.

Importance of cleaning a commercial grease trap

In commercial kitchens, where plenty of time is spent maintaining the ovens, fryers, sinks, and other types of equipment, it is equally essential to check on the commercial grease traps.

If FOG finds its way into the drain, it can solidify and clog the drain.  This causes overflows and damage to the plumbing and fixtures. Without proper grease trap cleaning, the system will not operate optimally and may even back up. This can lead to terrible odours, and it is unsanitary.

Improperly filtered wastewater can lead to FOG waste building up in drainage systems and sewers. This can be costly financially and also in terms of time to mend. If a drain becomes clogged with grease, it may need to be manually treated at the source of the blockage.

Cleaning frequency varies depending on the trap size and the amount of grease used in the commercial kitchens. Usually, the restaurants must clean the commercial grease trap frequently to maintain less than 25 percentage FOG accumulation. This results in cleaning at least once per quarter and sometimes as frequently as once a month.

Effect of chemicals used in cleaning

Acidic chemicals can get rid of grease build-up. Most grease cleaners contain harmful, toxic chemicals that affect the environment. Moreover, these chemicals do not guarantee complete FOG removal from the drainage pipes. They usually wash down the drain and become part of the wastewater system, which becomes challenging to treat.

Sustainability is our motto!

With a large amount of grease pollution and toxic chemical residues entering the water body, a considerable impact is seen on the environment. To get rid of harmful chemicals, microbes containing enzymes such as lipase can clean the grease trap. Lipase is found abundant in yeasts, heterotrophic microorganisms that utilise organic compounds as energy and carbon sources. These microorganisms are an excellent sustainable source to clean up the commercial grease trap without causing any harm to the environment.

The lipase producing microbes gradually removes the grease build-up. The drain lines will be coated with beneficial bacteria, and they help reduce the grease and other organic matter which clogs the drains.

Bioclean Septic Plus and OBCare Kitchen Drain Cleaner are biological products consisting of a consortium of microorganisms containing selective enzymes that help degrade food waste and fats, oils, and other organic matter. Together they can help in degradation of grease not only from the grease trap but also from the kitchen sink and drainage pipes that leds the sludge to the grease traps.

The byproduct formed by the microbes is odourless and gets rid of FOG. The solution helps eliminate foul odour and reduce the sludge volume by 30-40%.

How does Bioclean Septic Plus and OBCare Kitchen Drain Cleaner work?

The Bioclean Septic Plus consists of a consortium of dormant microorganisms activated as soon as they get in contact with water. These microbes contain enzymes such as protease and lipase that help break down fats, oils, and grease that is present in the grease traps.

The OBCare Kitchen Drain Cleaner contains enzyme-producing bacteria in the dormant stage capable of degrading grease from the kitchen sink, drainage pipes & helps in reducing the sludge coming to the grease traps.

Using these solutions, the byproducts formed by these microorganisms are non-acidic and non-corrosive in nature.

Advantages of using our solutions

Apart from being eco-friendly and organic, the solution helps restore the health of commercial grease traps naturally. It also eliminates foul odours that originate from the grease trap.

Using this solution, the commercial grease traps and drainage pipes will have a uniform coating of FOG-eating bacteria. This saves the need for manual cleaning, maintains a hygienic environment, maintains compliance with municipal guidelines, and it also ensures performance in cold temperatures.

Direction of Use

For OBCare Kitchen Drain cleaner, mix 10 gm in 500 ml water and pour it into the kitchen sinks. This solution can treat up to 4-5 sinks and is to be used daily.

Note: Dosage will be based on your load factor, will be recommended by our subject matter experts.

After cleaning the grease trap, mix the required quantity of Septic Plus in 2 litres of water and pour it into the grease trap.

Microbial digestion by OBCare Kitchen Drain Cleaner is the simplest and cleanest way to eliminate commercial grease trap waste and keep it working correctly. The microbes used are GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) organisms. They have no pathogenicity towards humans, animals and plants.

A properly installed, well-maintained grease trap is one of the focal points of hassle-free running a commercial or industrial kitchen. Follow the best practices highlighted in this guide, use microbe-rich solutions to minimise the amount of grease that goes into the plumbing system, and take a step in the direction of sustainable grease trap management that’s good for your business, customers and the environment!