Grease Trap Cleaning

Disposal Of Fats, Oils And Grease

Food businesses generate food waste – including fats, oils, and grease (FOG) as a by-product of cooking. One of the biggest challenges in a commercial kitchen is managing  FOG waste. If poured into the drainage system FOG will can harden and cause build up and ultimately blockages in drains. The build up of FOG in the sewers in larger cities can contribute to the phenomenon known as ‘Fat Bergs’. Section 111 of the water industry act of 1991 states that pubs, restaurants, and takeaway premises found to be discharging oils, fats and greases into the sewer causing a compromise to the free flow of wastewater can be prosecuted. Prosecution can result in a substantial fine, or even closure if FOG waste isn’t managed effectively.

Responsible disposal of FOG will prevent the issue of drain blockages, and avoid breaching section 111 of the water industry act 1991.

Who Needs A Grease Trap?

The Building Regulations (document H, section 2.21) states that a commercial food premises serving hot food and that is connected to the mains drainage system should be fitted with a grease separator or other effective means of grease removal. This includes:

  • Pubs
  • Takeaways
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Fat Food Outlets
  • Cafeterias
  • Coffee Shops

What Are Grease Traps?

Grease traps, are also known as interceptors, converters, catchers, grease recovery / management devices or FOG traps. A grease trap is a tank processing system into which kitchen wastewater containing FOG flows through before entering a drainage system. Most commercial kitchens require a grease trap in order to prevent drain blockages. Grease traps manage the fats, oils, and greases that are produced during cooking, baking, frying or dish washing operations.

When wastewater enters a grease trap, the water flow is slowed down, separating into solids on the bottom layer, wastewater in the middle, and FOG on the top.  As animal fats and vegetable oils are 10-15% less dense than water, they float to the surface – grease traps are designed to intercept the FOG on the surface. The frequency of grease trap cleanings vary depends on the level of FOGs produced. Cleaning should be performed approximately every one to three months. If your grease trap becomes full, grease will begin flow out of the primary compartment into the secondary one, so must be regularly cleaned in order to operate efficiently.  Alton Pump Services provide pre planned or emergency grease trap cleaning services to commercial and institutional kitchens throughout The South.

Grease traps or interceptors come different sizes. The smaller variations are designed for indoor connection direct to sinks and other fixtures (usually with a total flow less than 50-100 gpm), and larger ones designed to service large kitchens, which are installed outdoors and underground.

grease trap cleaning services

How Do I Know If My Grease Trap Needs Cleaning?

Regular cleaning will ensure your grease trap is effective. If you do not have a pre planned maintenance agreement in place, there are a number of signs that will alert you to issues with your system:

  • Foul odours – when your grease trap is full, the build up of sludge and FOG will develop into nasty odours which will emanate into your kitchen.
  • Slow drainage – an accumulation of FOG in your system can result in fats solidifying on the walls of your pipework and trap, which in turn will slow the water flow.
  • Overflowing drains – if full, your grease trap will no longer be able to operate effectively resulting in the drains backing up and overflowing.

If you can’t remember the last time your grease trap was professionally cleaned, or if it’s been more than three months since your last service, call our drainage team on 01420 561661. We can arrange pre planned or emergency cleaning services.

How To Avoid Grease Build Up In Commercial Kitchens

  • Do not pour fats, oils or grease into the drain.
  • Pour excess FOG in a container to be disposed of by registered waste collection.
  • Scrape and wipe dishes with a paper towel to remove excess fats before washing.
  • Use sink strainers to catch food waste that you can remove manually.
  • Install a grease trap or interceptor.



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