It’s undeniable that various commercial establishments and facilities known to manufacture or serve food are the biggest producers of FOG in the United States. Americans are known for their love of eating and with this growing appetite comes the increase in the number of various commercial food establishments. Food processing is a continuous endeavor. People need to eat everyday and these food establishments should fill that demand. Because of the amount of FOG that these facilities produce, a worsening problem is already affecting people and the environment—FOG overflow. So how can commercial grease trap treatment help you?
FOG overflow is when the FOG (fats, oils, grease) obstructs the normal flow of the wastewater. When FOG solidifies in the sewer lines, wastewater backup occurs. When this happens, the untreated effluent reaches the premises of the food establishments and contaminates everything. It also reaches the surrounding environment and fills it with pollutants. This is why the federal government has already created and is presently implementing the grease or pretreatment ordinance. The ordinance mandates the food establishment owners to install grease traps in their business premises to pre-treat the wastewater that comes from their area. The grease trap or the grease interceptor collects and separates the FOG and the solid wastes from the untreated effluent. It slows down the flow rate of the effluent to enable the solid wastes to settle at the bottom of the trap and to cool down and solidify. The baffles in the grease trap then keep the FOG and solid wastes in the trap so that the untreated effluent may flow freely towards the wastewater treatment plant.
With the huge amount of FOG and solid wastes that are produced everyday, grease traps should be well maintained and thoroughly inspected as stated in the ordinance. They should also have permits so that the Department of City Sewer will be able to track them. Maintenance of the grease traps should be performed according to its size, accessibility, and usage. There are small indoor grease traps that need to be pumped out every month. Those establishments that have larger grease traps should be pumped out every six months. But in order to make sure that their grease traps do not overflow, most food-based establishments have their grease traps pumped out every quarter. This tends to get very costly. To help lessen the costs, the establishment should have a much bigger grease trap instead. The sheer size will prevent the trap from filling up too fast.
Commercial grease trap control should be done efficiently so that the FOG crisis can be totally resolved. Control of the grease accumulation in these commercial facilities can be difficult but very possible. It also starts in the facility employees. How they dispose of the FOG really makes a difference. Instead of just dumping FOG into the drain, they could manually collect these and place them in a receptacle that can be sealed up. The drains should have meshes or filters that could catch the grease and solid wastes even before they get into the grease trap. It’s true that grease is immiscible with water. It doesn’t mix with water that’s why it’s easy for the grease trap to remove it from the effluent. Even so, the amount of FOG and solids should still be controlled so that the grease trap will not be too overworked and malfunction.
It’s common practice for some commercial establishments to use enzymes and chemicals in cleaning up their grease traps. These compounds just emulsify the FOG, making it easy to combine with the untreated effluent. Once the seemingly eliminated FOG reaches the pipelines, it accumulates and sticks to the walls of the pipes until it completely blocks the flow of the wastewater. These additives present themselves to be the solution to the FOG crisis when they really just make things worse.
Using bacteria is the secret to proper commercial grease trap control. These are very indispensable micro-organisms that consume the FOG and the rest of the contaminants in the trap. They also remove the bad odors and leave the environment unharmed.