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Grease Traps

Food Service - Best Management Practices

Most commercial cooking operations produce waste products of fats, oils, and grease (FOG). FOG is a major contributor to stoppages in the city sewer system and grease build up at the Mountain Home Wastewater Treatment Plants. Even if you can’t see FATS, OILS OR GREASE in hot soapy water, it’s still there. As FOG goes through the sewer system, it cools, comes out of solution and coats the sewer pipes which in turn causes stoppages throughout the city. This causes sewage spills, manhole overflows or backups in homes and businesses.

Provided below are requirements designed to help your business control and eliminate FOG problems using Best Management Practices (BMP’S).

All Food preparation & service establishments should have an adequately sized grease trap or interceptor. All traps and interceptors must comply with the adopted Plumbing Code and all applicable City, State, and Federal rules and regulations. The Building Inspection Department handles all questions about installation requirements or permits. Remember a grease trap or interceptor works by retaining the water for at least 15 minutes; this allows the water to cool and FOG to separate from the water and float to the surface.

Maintain and clean your grease trap or interceptor at a frequency that will ensure proper operation and prevent blockages.

Interceptor (exterior units) maintenance should be performed by a reputable company. Septage hauling companies may be used to pump your trap or interceptor. When maintenance is performed, make sure the interceptor has all of the solids, water, and grease completely removed.

Grease trap (interior units) maintenance may be performed by restaurant employees or others.

Ensure that the interceptor or trap is filled with tap water after it is pumped. This increases its efficiency. If you let the trap or interceptor fill on its own, greasy water will flow out of the unit without proper treatment. If the outside interceptor is not filled with water after it is pumped, it could also have a tendency to float in times of wet weather, possibly causing damage to the interceptor and associated plumbing.

Periodically skim the floating grease in your inside grease trap (not your outside interceptor). This increases its efficiency. Non-liquid grease should be disposed of with your trash.

Remember a clogged grease trap or interceptor is useless for removing FOG. Clogged traps turn septic and acidic, causing odors that may attract insects, rodents, etc. and cause other related health problems.

Keep a record of grease trap or interceptor cleaning for a minimum of (5) five years. Don’t dump or drain oil or grease into any fixture (sink, floor drain, toilet, etc.).

Post signs at points of possible grease discharge. This is an excellent way to remind employees about FOG management.

Educate and train employees about these best management practices and encourage them to come up with new ideas for controlling FOG.

Recycle used cooking oils and grease. Contact a grease recycling or rendering company for the requirements on containers, contents, and storage.

Scrape all food scraps into the trash. The largest source of FOG comes from washing greasy pots and pans; Drain pots, pans, or anything with FOG into the recycling container.

Use a spatula to scrape grease from pots and pans and spilled grease into the recycling container, then use paper towels to soak up and wipe down oily or greasy surfaces before washing.

If you follow these tips closely, you will significantly reduce and possibly eliminate sewer system stoppages caused by FOG and it will help save you time and money in the operation of your business. 

Wide view of downtown Mountain Home