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TRUSTDale Tip of the Day: *Grease Trap 101

What is a Grease Trap?

A grease trap or grease interceptor is a receptacle located between the restaurant drain lines and the sanitary sewer lines that allows for the separation and collection of fats, oils and greases (FOG) from the used water, preventing such materials from entering the municipal sewer system.

The grease trap can either be located inside of the establishment or on the outside. Typically large restaurants or school kitchens will have their grease trap/ grease interceptor located outside of the facility, usually in the ground, while facilities with smaller traps can usually house theirs indoors.

Why do I have to have a grease trap?

FOG wreaks all kinds of havoc on municipal wastewater systems, which is why local governments require commercial kitchens to have a grease trap installed. Most municipalities will have a minimum amount of FOG that is acceptable in the water leaving an establishment. IF these minimums are exceeded, fines can be imposed.

How do grease traps work?

Grease traps slow down the flow of water coming from drains, allowing the water/ grease time to cool. This cooling causes the grease to coagulate and float to the top, while other, heavier solids, fall to the bottom of the trap. The remaining water is free to pass through on to the city sewer lines.