When left unattended, grease traps can be filled with solids, and fats, oils and grease (FOG). Clogging, unpleasant odours, and water draining slowly are signs that your grease trap needs maintenance.
As a commercial kitchen operator, you have a crucial obligation to keep your grease trap functional and well maintained. Here’s our checklist to help keep your grease trap working in tip-top condition all year round.
- Know your grease trap installation and servicing obligations
Requirements and standards may differ between states and water authorities, so refer to your local regulations for advice on the kind of grease trap you can use, where to place it and how to maintain it. Ensure that your waste services provider is licensed to manage and treat your grease trap waste.
- Make sure that your grease trap is installed properly
A properly installed grease trap will have a properly fitted lid that will prevent spillage and odours from coming out. It will also prevent pests and other unwanted materials from entering and blocking the grease trap.
- Avoid pouring used oils and food waste into the sink
While the function of a grease trap is to separate grease and food solids, carelessly disposing your waste down the sink will fill and clog your trap at a much faster rate. Remember that having a grease trap does not turn your sink into a rubbish disposal unit.
- Install strainers in your kitchen sinks
Strainers prevent some of the grease and food solids from going down the sink. As an added benefit, food solids can be collected and reused for compost.
- Know the signs of a blocked trap
When you start seeing water remaining in the sink or flowing down the drain too slowly, it is usually a sign that your grease trap needs to be cleaned. Water in a clean, unclogged sink flows quickly and effortlessly down the drain. A build-up of grease over time leads to foul smelling odours in the sink area. This gets worse the more clogged your grease trap gets.
- Refrain from DIY cleaning
Leave grease trap cleaning to the professionals. Do not use any type of solvents or enzymes that dissolve grease or oils. These methods may break down the waste but could also cause other problems such as corroded and damaged pipes. They also expose the sewage system to potentially hazardous materials.
- Consult a grease trap maintenance provider and set up a scheduled service
Contact a waste management expert to assess, collect and process your grease trap waste. Based on different factors such as your type of business and volume of waste, your provider will set up a maintenance plan that prioritises efficiency for your kitchen. Emergency pump out services can cost four times more than a scheduled service, not including the clean up cost and the fine.
Read more about grease traps:
Everything you need to know about grease traps and why it matters
4 ways a scheduled grease trap service is better than on call
Waste management horror stories