What is a grease trap?
Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant, at SafeSourcing.
I worked at a cooking school for seven years, several as the Assistant Director. The school was located in an outdoor mall with a busy restaurant located right beside it. One night while a cooking class was in progress, the grease trap backed up and the floor was soon covered in water and muck. What was interesting, the students continued to prep and cook acting like nothing was going on. We ended up closing the kitchen and giving out rainy day vouchers.
What is a grease trap (also known as a grease interceptor, grease recovery device and grease converter)? It is a plumbing device designed to intercept most greases and solids before entering a waterwaste disposal system. Wastewater contains small amounts of oils which enter into treatment facilities and septic tanks that form a floating scum layer. A scum layer is slowly broken down and digested by microorganisms in the anaerobic digestion process. Large amounts of oil from food preparation in restaurants can overwhelm a treatment facility or septic tank, causing the release of untreated sewage into the environment. High-viscosity fats and cooking grease, such as lard, turn into solids when cooled. When these solids combine with other disposed solids, the drain pipes block.
Grease traps have been in use since Victorian days. Nathaniel Whiting obtained the first grease trap patent in the late 1800’s. “These reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOGS) that enter sewers. They are boxes within the drain that flow between the sinks in a kitchen into the sewer system. They only have kitchen wastewater flowing through them, and do not serve any other drainage system, such as toilets.”1 They can be made in many different materials, such as plastic, stainless steel, concrete and cast iron. They can be located above or below ground, inside a kitchen, or outside a building.
SafeSourcing regularly sources Grease Traps for a variety of businesses. For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can help you with your sourcing needs, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.
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