For our clients who are looking to reduce the number of grease trap problems, the risks of sewer overflows, and increased grease trap maintenance, we tell them to go after the source. For most clients – which are usually restaurants – they have multiple sources of wastewater that combine to feed into and through the grease trap. By changing what and how waste enters those sinks and drains, they can have better functioning grease traps that require less maintenance.
FOGS: What Goes in a Grease Trap?
While they are called grease traps (and grease interceptors), grease is only one of the numerous sources of material that fill grease traps. The normal culprits can be remembered in the acronym: FOGS.
- Fats: The fatty tissue of animals, comprised of a combination of tissue, membrane, and natural oils. Primary from meat as it cooks or trimmings that are flushed away.
- Oils: From cooking oil to frying oil, oils are added to food during the cooking process. These enter the drains during the washing of utensils, cookware, and dishes.
- Grease: Grease covers materials that are unidentifiable from other categories, especially after they have combined in the grease trap – a catch-all term.
- Solids: A latecomer to the FOGS lineup, solids fill the bottom of a grease trap and degrade performance. Leftover materials from cooking or dishes that enter the drains.
Learn more about FOGS in our blog, What is FOGS? Revisiting Fats, Oils, Grease, and Solids.
Dealing with Grease Trap FOGS at the Source
The best way of reducing the amount of FOGS that hits your grease trap is by changing the pipeline and practices in your kitchen when it comes to these materials and your wastewater. While you should consult with a specialist for your specific needs, here’s a good place to start:
- Deal Better with Fryer Oil: How is your fryer cleaned and oil spills dealt with? If any of that ends up in the wastewater, revisit cleaning procedures.
- Look at Disposable Container and Flatware: A lot of grease and oil make their way to grease traps during cleaning. Balance grease generation with garbage generation.
- Use a Solids Interceptor: Grease traps can be installed with a solids interceptor to help automate the process, but must be cleaned out daily.
- Garbage Cans and Drain Strains: Before dishes are washed, make sure they are scrapped clean of food into the garbage. Drain strainers should be installed and cleaning regularly.
- Garbage Disposal Etiquette: Make sure your garbage disposal is a last resort. Overuse doesn’t only flush more solids down the drain. It can also emulsify your oil, leading to problems.
Learn more best practices in our blog, 5 Grease Trap Best Practices for a Commercial Kitchen.
It’s important to consult with a grease trap specialist about your specific needs, from estimating grease production to training owners and staff on grease trap basics. If you’re in the New England area, Food Grease Trappers can help. We have a long history of grease trap consultations and full grease trap service. Contact us today to get started.