If you were to take a casual walk around the commercial hubs of Johannesburg, you would find a host of restaurants and eateries in the vicinity. These establishments need to provide clean and hygienic food to their customers. The regulatory authorities usually permit them to operate based on the hygiene of their facility and the wholesomeness of their fare. But many commercial kitchens find it hard to keep their facilities clean. After all, they are in the business of providing hospitality and good food. They are not well versed in the nuances of wastewater treatment.
Commercial Kitchens’ Wastewater High in Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) Content
Commercial kitchens make extensive use of dishwashers, combi-ovens and commercial woks. In addition, the food they prepare usually has a high oil and grease content. This is why the wastewater they produce will contain ample amounts of liquid waste and grease.
If restaurant owners allowed this wastewater to flow unchecked into the sewer lines, the oil, grease and suspended solid particles would start accumulating within the sewer lines. For instance, cooking greases such as lard often solidify as they cool.
Over time, the accumulation of these waste items would block the sewer lines and drainpipes. As a result, the continual inflow of wastewater flow would face restrictions. The clogged drainpipes would eventually result in back-ups of the wastewater. In addition, it would lead to the escape of foul odours into the commercial kitchen.
Grease Traps – Ideal for Reducing the Entry of FOG into the Sewer Lines
A grease trap (or grease interceptor) lies in the sewer and drainage system of the restaurant. It is primarily a specially designed tank used for catching and storing the fats and oils flushed into the system. This typically occurs from various cooking and cleaning activities. By doing so, these tanks prevent the main sewage lines from becoming clogged.
As the wastewater enters the tank, the solid waste will sink to the bottom because it is heavy. The reservoir contains wastewater that serves to cool the grease and oil to room temperature. Once cooled, these substances solidify and float to the top of the grease trap. As they float, they displace the liquid in the middle of the tank.
The rest of the wastewater tends to escape from tube fittings towards the exit pipe. From the exit pipe, the wastewater enters the sewer lines and drains out. It is worth noting that the FOG continues to accumulate in the grease trap. Clearly, grease traps cannot store these items indefinitely. Once the grease trap becomes filled to its capacity, it could lead to blockages and back-ups. To prevent this occurrence, regular servicing of the grease trap is a necessity.
Why Restaurant Owners Need to Maintain their Grease Traps Regularly
Grease traps serve to trap FOG content. At the same time, they release the wastewater into the sewage lines. With each passing day, the FOG content present in the grease trap will continue to accumulate. Left unchecked, it would eventually end up discharging brown grease into waste streams. This would eventually end up causing major clogs in the sewer lines.
In addition, once the grease trap fills to the brim, restaurant owners will experience issues such as drains that back-up. Which will mean flooding to your kitchen and shut down and evacuation of the one thing that makes the money. Clearly, they will not be able to cater to their customers once this happens. As a result, they will need to close for some days until they resolve the problem.
The escape of odours into the restaurant or in the parking areas is yet another consequence of ill-maintained grease traps. This can end up spoiling the dining experience of your customers. Not many of your customers would return once they have an unpleasant dining experience.
The Benefits of Maintaining Grease Traps Regularly
Estimates suggest that indoor and outdoor grease traps require servicing every 30 – 90 days. But, not all grease traps require servicing at the same interval. The frequency of servicing needed would vary based on various factors such as:
By getting professionals to service your grease traps regularly, you can:
Dredge-A-Drain in line with our desire to provide a service that is above the expected levels, are proud to make a guide available to you and your valued clients. We at Dredge-A-Drain, are pleased to advise on any drain cleaning and plumbing requirements.