Septic tank maintenance

July 3rd, 2013:

What is the cost to empty a grease trap?

This article will cover the age old question of what is the cost to empty a grease trap. If you ask children what they want to be when they grow up, most of them would answer that they want to become chefs, cooks, food critics, or restaurateurs. The food business is continuously transforming itself into a multi-faceted industry, merging with all other businesses in the world. You can see food being offered even in car shows. It’s not surprising that everyone wants to be part of making people happy with food. Surely there will b more innovative ideas that are based on food technology pretty soon.

But even if the food business is making noise the positive way, it’s also making noise the negative way. The United States is presently experiencing a widespread environmental problem wherein food businesses are among the largest contributors. The FOG (fats, oils, grease) crisis is overwhelming the country and its negative effects are not to be taken lightly. Food establishments are loaded with FOG because food items are made up of plant and animal fat. The waste products from kitchens and food processing plants are naturally saturated with FOG. To stop the FOG crisis from getting to its worst state, a pretreatment or grease ordinance was established for everyone in the food industry to follow.

The ordinance is being strictly implemented to protect the wastewater treatment system, the sewer lines, and the clean water supply in every state. It mandates the owners of these food-based or food-related establishments to have grease traps installed in their businesses. The traps should have permits so that the City Sewer Department could easily inspect them regularly. The owners should also see to it that the grease traps are well-maintained with a regular schedule courtesy of a licensed hauler. But what is the cost to empty a grease trap?

A grease trap’s emptying or pumping out fee depends on the size, accessibility, location, and frequency of use. There are small indoor grease traps that should be emptied basically once a month. This costs from 75 to 150 USD. The larger outdoor, underground grease traps should be emptied on a quarterly basis. This sets you back at least 300 USD.

FOG and solid wastes normally get into the grease trap as the flow rate decreases. The FOG solidifies and floats on the surface of the untreated effluent. The solid wastes sink to the bottom of the trap. The untreated effluent is then clear enough to flow through the sewer pipes straight to the wastewater treatment plant. During a FOG overflow, the FOG hitches a ride with the untreated effluent because the grease trap is already too full to keep all the FOG in. The FOG then solidifies in the pipelines and sticks along the walls. As more and more FOG enters the sewer lines FOG accumulates and eventually blocks the normal passage of the wastewater. Untreated effluent then backs up into the food businesses and contaminates the area and the surrounding environment.

When the untreated effluent reaches the clean water supply, or the bodies of water within the area, respiratory, digestive, systemic, and skin infections often become critical matters. When water systems get contaminated, aquatic life is wiped out and the ecosystem becomes imbalanced. The food business responsible the gets to pay for lawyers that will defend them against environmental lawsuits filed against their companies. They also have to come up with hefty amounts to pay for the fines because they exceeded the set level of FOG in the wastewater.

It’s very expensive to always have the grease trap emptied every week, but this is preferred by food companies rather than the basic monthly pump out. This assures them that they don’t have FOG spilled onto the effluent that exits their vicinity. To lower the costs of maintenance, bacteria should be used to treat the grease trap. The naturally-occurring, chemical-free bacteria are used to consume the solid wastes and FOG that has built up in the trap. If they are used regularly, much too frequent grease trap emptying will be avoided.