Spring has sprung! But hopefully, your grease trap hasn’t. Welcome again to Grease Traps in the News, your one-stop-shop for all things grease-trap related, from all parts of the US and beyond. As always, we’re highlighting the various issues that can arise around grease traps, from failing to meet health, business, and sewer regulations to the importance of regular maintenance and servicing and what failing to do these things can cost you. This time around, we’re covering everything from sewer overflows to grease trap cleaning accidents, and how a restaurant thought it could get away with dumping their sewage into a hole.
Joplin: Sewage in the Streets Due to Cooled Grease
March 4th: In the Missouri city of Joplin, the streets ran brown on Thursday night as a backed-up sewer line from the classic Italian restaurant Johnny Carino’s overflowed with sewage into the storm drain. A report from the Joplin Health Department suspected the grease trap, even though it had just been inspected.
“The inspector noted that the grease trap was having issues then, but at the time of the inspection, it was still flowing,” said Ryan Talken, assistant director of the Joplin Health Department. “As the temperature cooled that night, that caused everything to freeze up. It was done at that point.”
While none of the sewage made its way back into the restaurant, it goes to show that a “working” grease trap isn’t always a healthy one.
Austin: Grease Trap Maintenance Accidents Kills One, Injures Two
April 10th: At the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Lonnie Deary who worked for Liquid Environmental Solutions with two other employees fell while inside the grease trap of one airport’s restaurants, shortly after complaining of not being able to breathe. Dreay struck his head in the fall, and his partners were unable to retrieve him due to the lack of air. EMT’s were notified and pulled out Deary and resuscitated him with CPR. All were hospitalized, but Dreary later died of his injuries. A reminder of the importance of properly maintained grease traps and having the proper personal protective gear on hand.
Cortez: No, A Hole in the Ground is Not a Grease Trap
May 28th: This Floridian city sits on a peninsula overlooking the Palma Sola Bay and several keys, but not everything is picturesque. Fire & Stone Pizza is currently closed after violations from both the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and Manatee County Code Enforcement. The source of these violations? Reports of a slick forming on the nearby bay, caused by a strange situation: the owners had removed their grease trap due to structural issues… but had still their wastewater emptying into the now empty hole. Beyond closure, the restaurant is also potentially looking at environmental fines.
Spring is a time for renewal but isn’t the only thing that repeats. Grease traps problems keep popping up in the news. Make sure your restaurant doesn’t. Food Grease Trappers are experts in the field of grease trap maintenance and waste vegetable oil (WVO) collections for the foodservice industry, and we have been doing so for over 20 years. If you need assistance with your grease trap in New England, make sure to contact us.