All restaurants and food facilities need grease traps. Restaurants and other types of commercial food facilities produce fats, oils, and grease (FOG) and are required to have a grease trap or multiple grease traps installed to trap FOG from wastewater that flows into the sewer system. The sole purpose of a grease trap is to prevent these fats and oils from entering the waste streams. A grease trap is up to 90% effective in catching the FOG.
The size of these grease traps (or interceptors) is approximately 1,200 gallons and they are made of concrete or plastic. However, some grease traps can be up to 3,200 gallons. Grease interceptors are usually installed underground, just outside the commercial facility that employs them. Sometimes there are 2 or 3 tanks, depending on the facility size and requirements.
Maintenance and installation requirements for your grease trap (interceptor)
When having grease traps installed at your commercial food facility, remember that they should be accessible for cleaning and inspection, no matter if they are located inside the kitchen, outside the restaurant or above/below ground.
- Grease interceptors can operate at their optimum efficiency only if they are properly maintained.
- The depth of FOG and solids (combined together) must not exceed 25% of the total liquid depth of the grease trap.
- Grease interceptors must be fully pumped out by a waste management company:
-When FOG and solids are more than 25% of the total liquid depth;
-Every 90 days (whatever happens first).
- Inspect all components that may influence your grease trap proper operation.
- Don’t use enzymes or other products that will allow grease to pass through the grease trap and go straight into the sewer.
- Register all inspection and maintenance activities as well as have someone on site who knows how to open the grease trap for inspection in case of emergency.
When you need a commercial grease trap (interceptor)
Any establishment that produces wastewater with grease and oil flowing into the sewage system is obliged to install an interceptor or in some cases, an inside grease trap. Interceptors are usually required for high volume fast food or full menu establishments and large commercial facilities such as factories, hotels, hospitals or school kitchens. Inside grease traps may be installed in small volume fast food or take‐out restaurants with limited menus, disposables, minimum dishwashing and minimal seats.
There are also electro‐mechanical, self-cleaning type grease traps, which are generally called automatic grease interceptors (AGI). No matter the type of the grease trap, it must meet local plumbing code regulations of your region. In general grease traps are required to be pumped and cleaned at least every three months.
At Orange County Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning – a full-scale plumbing and heating contractor – you can find answers for your questions concerning grease trap installation and inspection. Contact us ASAP!