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Grease Traps in Hotels and Restaurants

By 21 May 2019January 6th, 2023Winnipeg plumbers

Grease, fats, and oil wastes are all too common in hotels, yet disposing them can be quite problematic. When left to run through the drain, grease acts like glue. It combines together with other solids such as disposed wipes, hair, and dental floss to form large clogs(fatbergs) that end up blocking sewers. Over time, the grease itself hardens like concrete and besides blocking the sewer lines, will also likely damage the pipes if not extracted early enough. Removing a fatberg is no easy job; domestic removal of a fatberg requires water jets, a scraper and a vacuum truck that sucks out the fatberg and surrounding debris. This is a costly affair for municipal governments which why the City of Winnipeg Sewer by law requires all commercial, institutions, and food service establishments install a grease trap.

What is a grease trap and why should hotels have it?

A grease trap, also known as a grease recovery device or a grease interceptor, does what its name suggests; it traps grease. And not just grease, but also the food particles that find their way down the drain. The grease trap intercepts solidified greases and oils before they enter the wastewater disposal system.  Although common wastewater does contain small amounts of oil, microorganisms slowly digest these oils in the anaerobic digestion process. Large amounts of oil will however overwhelm the treatment facilities and that’s why they shouldn’t end up there in the first place. You can reduce the amount of grease that goes into your drains by following some best practices on grease disposal.

Here’s how the grease trap works

As wastewater from your restaurant cools, all fats, oils, and grease harden and solids settle. The hardened grease floats on top of the grease trap like it would if you poured the water in a bucket. Then, as the wastewater finds its way into the sanitary sewer, the hardened oils and food solids settle to the bottom of the trap. Eventually, the grease trap will become full of grease sludge and other solid particles which will render it incapable of intercepting any grease or solids whatsoever. Once it stops being effective, foul smells, and slow drainage in sinks result.  A full grease interceptor must be emptied, pumped out and cleaned.

Grease trap Cleaning: How often should this happen

A general rule of thumb is to clean the grease trap once it’s 25% percent full. On average, hotels and restaurants should schedule grease trap cleaning every one to three months. However, different restaurants and hotels release different amounts of grease so this is not a “one size fits all” recommendation. Many factors such as the size of your grease trap, county ordinances, and the amount of grease released, all come into play on how often you should schedule for a grease trap cleaning. If you find that your trap fills up faster than a month, you may want to consider sizing up.

For more information about grease trap cleaning, don’t hesitate to contact us on (204) 813-7730. Our plumbers are well trained to deal with all your plumbing needs.

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