In the nearly 40 years that we have been pumping, repairing, installing and inspecting septic systems, we have gained a lot of experience on the complex water quality issues in Southwest Florida. So often, poorly maintained septic systems are scapegoated as the core issue when in reality the situation is much more complex. From illegal dumping, sanctioned and emergency effluent releases by Southwest Florida Water Management District and Lake Okechobee releases – the natural waterways throughout the state have become more and more threatened. The situation is not only an environmental hazard, but also a major contribution to the decline in tourism. Toxic algae, unbalanced bacteria, ecosystem decline, and red tide are just some of the byproducts of our water quality situation. Area restaurants are particularly frustrated by the water quality decline, since our local beaches are such a draw for tourists. But what if we told you that in a way, lack of timely grease trap cleaning by restaurants is actually contributing to poor water quality in our area?
What is a grease trap?
A grease trap is a rectangular chamber that is located within your restaurant’s sewer line. As waste flows into the sewer line from your commercial kitchen, fats, oils and grease (FOG) are trapped within the grease trap, allowing only liquid waste to go into the sewer lines. The FOG accumulates over time in your commercial kitchen’s grease trap and must be cleaned and disposed of properly by a professional grease trap cleaning service.
How often should my grease trap be cleaned?
A grease trap in a commercial kitchen should be cleaned once every few months. Full grease traps can actually case major sewer issues for your restaurant establishment. Grease traps must be cleaned regularly to avoid sewer line backups in your restaurant.
How does water quality work into my commercial grease trap cleaning?
When grease traps are not properly maintained, they can release FOG into the municipal wastewater sewage lines and contribute to massive blockages in the lines called fatbergs. Fatbergs are an accumulation of waste that collects inside a line, eventually blocking the entire sewer line. Fatbergs are a huge contributor to large scale sewage blocks and can even cause massive sewage backups and bursting lines, which leaks sewage into the ground and into waterways. Fatbergs are also very costly to break up and remove. Here’s an article about a massive fatberg in London.
This is why it is so important to properly maintain your grease trap. Cleaning your grease trap every 3 months will ensure that your restaurants fat, oil and grease accumulation remains within your grease trap and is properly disposed of. Be sure that you are doing your part and that an improperly maintained grease trap is not contributing to the widespread and complex water quality issues that we are experiencing throughout Southwest Florida currently.