High desert cities, Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia, and Victorville, are some of California's fastest-growing cities. With an increase in population, there has been a surge in the number of restaurants built. The acceleration in building new food servicing establishments has caused the industrial waste department to become more strict, making it mandatory for all restaurants to acquire a grease recovery device to protect the sanitation sewer line. Grease recovery devices, also known as grease traps or grease interceptors, must be installed to operate a restaurant or a food servicing establishment. The business must inquire with the city regarding which type of unit is right for them; a grease trap or a grease interceptor.
Grease recovery devices will ensure that most fats, oils, grease, and food solids waste from the commercial kitchen do not enter the sanitation sewer line. Without a grease trap or grease interceptor, grease and solid waste would enter into the sewer lines, causing build-up. In turn, heavy build-up leads to an unwanted back-up of the sewer and grease line, leading to the need for emergency trap cleaning and plumbing services.
Aside from having a grease trap or grease interceptor installed, Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia, and Victorville, make it mandatory to clean these devices regularly or as often as needed to keep the floating grease and settled food solids less than or equal to 25%. Rule of thumb, most large interceptors are cleaned as often as every three months, while smaller indoor grease traps are serviced every month.
A grease gravity device or clarifier is full when the FOGS to wastewater ratio reached 25%. Exceeding the maximum allowable grease and solid content make the unit ineffective affecting the sanitation sewer lines with FOGS effluent. Therefore, if you are experiencing drainage issues in the kitchen or an overflow of a grease trap or grease interceptor, be sure to check the last time the device was pumped and cleaned.
A grease trap or grease interceptor is a device that helps prevent the majority of fats, oils, grease, and food solid waste from entering the sanitation sewer lines that can cause serious plumbing issues. It's a plumbing unit mandatory for all food servicing establishments to pre-treat the wastewater liquids and solids from the commercial kitchens. Massive quantities of FOGS waste from commercial kitchens can cause serious plumbing issues without a grease gravity device in place. Therefore, authorities made it mandatory for all food servicing establishments in Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia, and Victorville to put a grease recovery device.
Mandates require all grease recovery devices to be fully pumped and cleaned when its Fats, Oils, Grease, and Settled Solids (FOGS) content reaches 25%. For instance, if you have a grease interceptor of 1,000 gallons, the content must not have less than 750 gallons 75% of wastewater. Most of the time, grease interceptors outdoor with over 500 gallons are emptied every quarter, while smaller indoor grease traps are done every month.
Grease traps are significantly smaller than grease interceptors. For this reason, they are less efficient and can reach 25% F.O.G.S. content within three to six weeks. Grease trap sizes range between 25-75 gallons, and they usually will reach their maximum allowable FOGS content in three to six weeks. The price for cleaning a grease trap will fluctuate, depending on the condition and accessibility. Anyone can clean a grease trap, but it can be very messy, and you will need to have a resource to get rid of the waste removed. Most of the time, they are serviced by licensed professionals who have specialized equipment and are certified to haul and dispose of restaurant grease & food solid waste. All food servicing establishments are regulated to maintain their FOGS control devices routinely, ensuring that the levels remain below 25%.
Due to their large size, grease interceptors can go more extended service periods and are more efficient than small grease traps. The bulk of San Bernardino's cities will likely demand a food servicing establishment to place a grease interceptor because of its capacity to hold a higher amount of FOGS
Unlike grease traps, Large grease interceptors require larger spaces for this reason; they are placed outdoors, typically in the parking area. Unlike grease traps, these devices can go longer cleaning service intervals, grease interceptors are more extensive, and their storage content volume is much greater. Since these devices can hold a larger capacity, service increments are from three to six months. The majority of grease interceptors mounted outdoor in the parking lot buried in-ground with a round cast-iron or hard plastic access point typically made by Jensen Precast, Schier, Trapzilla, or Pro-Cast.
Though newer developments such as high-rise buildings with no parking lots, it is not uncommon to find above FOG-Ceptor or Proceptor grease interceptor tanks made by Zurn or Xerxes. Both Zurn and Xerxes tanks are the most common FOGS interceptors installed in properties with limited space for in-ground grease interceptors such as parking garages. Because of the limited access, cleaning these devices will be more costly since it will need special equipment such as a low-profile vacuum truck.
When the grease gravity device exceeds 25%, it becomes less effective, allowing the release of FOGS content. Eventually, grease recovery devices with excessive grease and solids will prevent the liquids from passing through and causing the drains inside to flood and the device to overflow.
The most common cause of drain stoppage and grease trap overflow is improper or lack of maintenance of FOGS separator devices and plumbing lines. While holding off on grease trap or grease interceptor cleaning may seem as if you are saving money, in the end, it will end up costing you more when a plumbing disaster emerges.
When both devices exceed the maximum allowable FOGS, there is a surcharge for disposal and additional labor. A device that has not been maintained or cleaned for some time can contain an extreme amount of solidified grease and food solids that are costly to dispose of and challenging to remove. With a proper preventative maintenance service plan, you can keep your device healthy and maintain the pipes' cleanliness.
Although a foul and rotten odor is not an indication of a grease trap or grease interceptor being full, according to OSHA, the grease and solid waste trapped inside the device create toxic gases and fumes. Over time gases such as methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, etc., can be made from the content of a grease trap or grease interceptor. Trapped FOGS waste inside a grease trap that has not been service can damage the seals and even the component itself, allowing the gasses to pass through. Therefore, if you experience severe odor problems at your business from the grease trap, it may be time to clean the device.
If the smell is still present after service, there may be a fault in the venting or plumbing line that backflows into those unwanted places. The most common causes of odors are poor ventilation, dry P-Traps, and broken seals.
If you are looking for a local grease trap and grease interceptor servicing company, we can help. We work with highly qualified licensed grease pumping and plumbing companies that can support you in managing your grease traps and grease interceptors, making sure that it's healthy and in excellent condition.