Importance of Septic Maintenance for Restaurants

If you own a restaurant that is on a commercial septic system, maintaining this system should be a top priority. While you may be more concerned with the quality of your food and service, a septic system problem can undo all your efforts to provide a quality food establishment. Not only do most city ordinances require certain levels of septic maintenance, a malfunctioning system can shut down your restaurant, cause you to be fined and drive away customers.

High Usage Requires High Maintenance

Your restaurant’s septic system is put through much more than most commercial businesses. You are more likely to have more customers using the restroom than other types of businesses, creating more stress on your septic system. It is impossible to regulate what customers are flushing down the toilets, plus there is more food waste than can make it down into your septic tank.

All this high use requires more septic maintenance than many other types of businesses. You need to be concerned with regular pumping of your tank, plus maintenance to ensure all your septic equipment is working properly. Getting on a regular maintenance schedule with your local commercial septic service can prevent septic emergencies and potential shutdowns or fines due to a poorly functioning septic system.

Grease Trap Cleaning

Along with your septic maintenance, your restaurant may also require regular grease trap pumping and cleaning. Full grease traps can cause sewer clogs and can fill your restaurant with a nasty odor, which is not conducive to selling food. Talk to your septic company about adding grease trap cleaning to your septic maintenance package.

What goes in, must go out. If you own a restaurant with a septic, make sure you are concerned with both the food going into your customers’ mouths and the waste leaving your building to ensure the success of your business.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Grease Trap Pumping and Cleaning

Any commercial business operating a commercial kitchen is required to have all wastewater from the kitchen flow into a grease trap.  The size of the tank is determined by the size of the kitchen and is mandated by local building codes.  As one would expect the purpose of the grease trap is to capture all the grease that is in the water from the dishwashing process before it gets into the public sewer system.  Grease significantly reduces the effective diameter of the pipe, which will eventually lead to the pipe becoming clogged and the sewage system being backed up.

As with any other mechanical system, grease traps need to be pumped and cleaned out on a regular basis in order to eliminate odors, as well as to make sure that the trap is capturing grease effectively and not causing blockages “upstream” in the kitchen.  In addition, the trap should be cleaned, as well as the pipe leading from the kitchen to the grease trap.  Since the pipe leading from the kitchen to the grease trap carries grease in the wastewater, it is susceptible to blockages.

A qualified contractor with a dedicated staff that specializes in commercial pumping and cleaning grease traps can accomplish this work quickly and economically.  They will also be able to set up a recurring service of the tank, depending upon how busy the commercial kitchen is.  This work will be scheduled whenever possible “after hours” in order to minimize the disruption to the operations of the commercial business.

Sewer Grease Interceptors and FOG

Do you own a restaurant, deli or other food service establishment? If so, you should know that FOG is a bad thing to have in your sewer line. FOG? Yes, FOG. In this case, however, we’re not referring to the stuff that London is known for. In plumbing terms, FOG stands for Fats, Oils and Grease. When any or all of these materials make there way into the city sewer system big problems can occur.

There are different methods that have been employed to minimize the occurrence of FOG. Chemical emulsifiers, enzymes, bacteria or a combination of these additives can be utilized to get the FOG out of your place of business, but there are reasons that none of these methods provide a truly viable solution. Although emulsification and related processes can chemically alter the FOG, the components can simply reform once they have entered the city system. Many towns and cities have banned their use altogether and, instead, require the use of proper grease interceptors.

Grease interceptors are devices that are installed between kitchen drain lines and sanitary sewer lines to capture FOG that comes from food preparation, dish-washing and the cleaning of fixtures in the kitchen. These interceptors are not to be confused with the small grease traps present in many residential systems. Two types of commercial interceptors are commonly used and choices are made based on space available and volume generated.

The larger type is known as a GGI, or Gravity Grease Interceptor, and these are usually installed outside the building. The other, smaller, type is called an HGI, or Hydro-mechanical Grease Interceptor. Grease interceptors and grease traps need regular grease trap cleaning and maintenance in order to work properly.  Your sewer septic professional will help you to determine which type will both suit your needs and comply with local ordinances.

What Are Grease Traps?

A grease trap is a device that captures and removes grease, fats, and oils from wastewater and prevents it from entering the municipal wastewater system.  Municipal wastewater systems can handle and treat the relatively small quantities of grease produced by residential customers, but they cannot handle the large volume of grease produced by commercial customers such as restaurants.  In addition, without a grease trap, all that grease can clog sewer lines and cause problems with the sewer system.

Since homeowners dispose of relatively small amounts of grease, they don’t need to install grease traps in their drains but many commercial entities are required by local law to have them.  Grease trap regulations are set by local governments and vary depending on the location, but in general most commercial establishments that dispose of more than a limited amount of grease through their drain lines are required to have grease traps.  Restaurants are the most common type of establishment that needs to have a grease trap.

Grease traps look like a large box with baffles that are designed to capture the grease.  Wastewater enters the box from one end and cools inside the box. Grease, oil and fat solidify and float to the surface and are trapped inside the box.  Wastewater flows out the other end of the box and flows into the sewer system.

Regular grease trap cleaning or grease trap pumping is vitally important to keep a grease trap operating properly.  A clogged grease trap will cause drains to back up and might allow grease to enter the sewer system.  A good sewer septic company that handles commercial septic pumping will offer grease trap pumping and disposal of waste grease.  Keeping the grease trap clean with regular cleaning an pumping will keep the grease trap working great and prevent messy backups.