What is a grease trap and why do I need to clean it?
A grease trap is a device that is used to intercept fats, grease, oils, and solids from entering the city sewer lines. Over time the grease will build up to a point where it needs to be removed. If not removed, grease will work itself into the sewer system, clogging the drain lines causing failure of the system. This creates problems not only for your restaurant, but for others down the line. As a big problem for city and municipal maintenance crews, it costs far more to correct a grease trap problem than to maintain it properly in the first place. Regular tank maintenance consists of routinely checking the grease level and periodically pumping the tank. When the grease oil layer exceeds 1/4 of the tank’s capacity, it should have already been pumped. The threat of clogs, spills and environmental degradation increase drastically at this point.
Inflow and outflow lines, or drain lines, may also become clogged with buildup over time; the best method for cleaning these out is by hydro-jetting. Hydro-jetting should be performed at least once a year to reduce the possibility of clogs that may affect municipal systems and which could potentially result in fines.
The amount of time between cleanouts depends upon how many people are served and the degree to which you use the system, as well as whether you follow good practices for your system. If the grease layer is 1/4 the thickness of the entire trap/interceptor then the grease must be removed by an approved method.