Information for Restaurants regarding Grease Traps

Restaurants are Required to Maintain Grease Traps

Check with your city permitting department for details

Commercial food preparation establishments are responsible for proper disposal of their fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Food serving businesses must keep and maintain a grease trap or grease interceptor, which is designed to stop grease from entering the main sewer line. However, if the interceptor or grease traps are not cleaned out, it too becomes clogged and can lead to a blocked sewer line and potential sanitary sewer overflow.

Millions of dollars are spent each year cleaning out sewer pipes clogged by FOG. To avoid this problem, restaurants must check with their local water utility about grease trap rules and regulations.

Grease clog

Grease Traps

Maintaining your restaurant's grease trap or grease interceptor is a must for proper operation and is often required by city code. Some problems associated with improper maintenance include sewage backing up into your business, rancid odors, expensive cleanup and repair, potential contact with disease-causing organisms, and higher operating costs.

Grease traps capture grease from the wastewater flow. Grease traps slow down the flow of hot greasy water, allowing it to cool. As the water cools, the grease separates and floats to the top of the trap while the water flows down the pipe into the sewer. The grease is trapped by baffles that cover the inlet and outlet of the tank. If the tank is not pumped frequently enough or the drain lines are not maintained properly, backups and blockages occur.

The design of a grease trap is simple and there are many styles and sizes to choose from. Check with your control authority to have the correct grease trap installed properly at your food service establishment.

Grease traps come in various designs and sizes. Plastic grease traps are now available at most restaurant supply stores. Before you purchase a grease trap, check with your control authority first.

For large, in-the-ground grease traps: Cleaning the grease trap involves vacuuming up all the contents, scraping the built-up grease on the walls, and sucking up the remainder while rinsing with a pressure washer. A properly cleaned grease trap should have nothing left in it.

When the grease hauler or renderer has finished cleaning the grease trap, several components must be in place. Both the hauler and the business must maintain records of the cleanout on a manifest or trip ticket. These documents will verify who generated the grease, when the trap was cleaned, who cleaned it, and how much was pumped out, as well as when and where the grease was disposed of.

Small Grease Trap Grease Trap

Grease Interceptor Guide

North Central Texas

Date Published:
Download Link:
Grease Interceptor Guide 2015.pdf
Cities Listed:
Addison, Arlington, Azle, Burleson, Carrollton, Cleburne, Coppell, Dallas, Denton, Euless, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Irving, Keller, Mansfield, McKinney, Mineral Wells, North Richland Hills, Plano, Prosper, Southlake

This guide covers topics including what problems are caused by grease, how grease interceptors work, maintaining your grease interceptor, the 25% rule, and kitchen best practices.

The city by city guide offers a quick snapshot of the permitting and pump out requirements for each city.

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