A new year, but the same grease trap problems. 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 methane gas scares to town-state feuds, and three cities who are sick of greasy sewers.
Louisa: A Town Suffers a Methane Gas Attack
December 11th: Two weeks prior, the Virginian town of Louisa was evacuated when an unknown gas was found in the towns water supply in late November. What was this gas? Methane. In a full statement from the Louisa County Water Authority (LCWA), after tests, theories, and consultations, the Town of Louisa and LCWA concluded the gas buildup was methane from dry p-traps (p-shaped pipes that normally prevent backflow of gas) and from – you guessed it – grease from food service solutions. The grease is the likely culprit for creating slow-flow situations in the sewers and providing fuel for methane production. It’s why we have grease traps.
Plymouth: Town Found Responsible for a $48 Million Sewer Break
January 17th: In a battle between state and town infrastructure (and infrastructure regulations), the state of Massachusetts has determined the town was in part responsible for the 48 million dollar sewer main break. While smaller breaks have occurred in the past, the town’s failure to inspect and enforce grease trap regulations of the 400+ restaurants contributed directly to the break. Now Plymouth has to sit down with local restaurant owners and hash out a plan to solve the problem of grease and fat contributing to sewer-breaking clogs before the state comes down on them.
Tyler, Mansfield, and West St. Paul: New Grease Trap Laws
February 2-17th: February was a busy month for towns and cities in Texas, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. The towns of Tyler and Mansfield and the city of West St. Paul all passed or are passing laws making grease traps mandatory and enforcing those laws. Their reasons are different but related. In Tyler, it came out of a 2017 settlement with the EPA and the rising costs of clearing sewer blockages. In Mansfield, it was an inspection and education plan called FOG (yes, that FOG) by the board of health after January regulations required mandatory checks and cleaning of grease traps. In West St. Paul, after last year cost them $138,000 to clean out fats, oils, and grease from the sewers and stations, the city is planning to perform regular inspections and businesses required to submit a quarterly report, back with fines for non-compliance.
While it’s a new year for the grease trap news, the stories are often the same. 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.