We service thousands of grease traps, and many of our first conversations with clients when they call about their grease trap is “I don’t get it, we have no grease. What could possibly be in there?” While they are called grease traps and grease interceptors, there’s more than just grease that gets pulled into a trap. And yes, this is how the grease trap is meant to function: taking water from your sinks and drains and treating it before the wastewater hits the sewers. If you think you don’t need a grease trap or don’t need your trap serviced, you may reconsider after reading this blog.
Most Likely Your Food Contains FOG
You may have heard of FOG if you’ve been researching your grease trap or the requirements to have one by your county. FOG is an acronym standing for Fat, Oil, and Grease. These are the three major culprits to the problem grease traps try to solve, the buildup of these products on the inside of pipes, which causes constriction of water flow, sewer backup, overstressed treatment stations, and in extreme cases fatbergs. However, these fats, oils, and grease are not often in their pure forms when you wash them down the drain: almost all your products contain some form of FOG.
Common FOG Sources
From cafes to salad bars to fried chicken outlets, all product FOG need a grease trap – both to meet local laws as well as keeping your pipes clear of blockages. Here are some common sources which you might not think of:
- Cooking Oil: From canola to olive, spray on or pour-in.
- Butter and Shortening: From butter pats to bakery dough.
- Salad Dressings: Many contain oil, dairy, or both.
- Animal Products: Including animal fat and fatty cuts.
- Milk and Cream: Especially true for cafes that serve coffee drinks.
- Fried Food: Both from grease on the plate as well as utensils for cooking it.
What’s true for all of this is this source usually affects your wastewater twice: once when cleaning the cooking vessels and utensils that made the food, and a second time when the dishes and utensils it was served with are cleaned.
The Dangers of Solids
Often you will see the acronym of FOG spelled as FOGS. What is the extra S? Solids, that is solid food, can be a major contributor to both your grease trap as well as your wastewater. The major contributor to this problem is the garbage disposal, which can reduce food waste into a slurry to wash down the drain and into your trap. To learn more, check out our blog, The Solids in Fat, Oil, Grease and Solids.
Want to learn more about what fills your grease traps, as well as figure out a maintenance cycle to avoid these issues, or even replace your current grease trap with a better-suited model? Contact Food Grease Trappers today. We can inspect your issue with a free consultation, as well as advise you on a new grease trap from our vendor connections. Talk to you soon!