Mention a grease trap to someone and you would get a range of responses. Some people would think you were speaking another language, some people’s eyes would glaze over and others would not have a blunt clue what you were on about. This all brings about the question ‘what is it?’
A grease trap.
The problem becomes when people pour water down a sink (for example) that is mixed with grease. As a hot substance grease is fairly fluid and runs free with water. However as a scientific point, water and oil do not mix, just like air at different densities. As the grease cools it clogs due to the fact it is not soluble in water. This causes problems such as blockages of pipes or unpleasant smells at a local level. At a wider level the problems can be even worse as too much grease can interrupt the water treatment process. This is a problem for the environment and its inhabitants as contamination and fouling occur.
It is to be noted that mass scale, commercial grease removal is more likely to cause these dramatic effects rather than everyday domestic use. This is why businesses who produce grease as a product of their work should take note.
A grease trap works by water and grease entering the system through the inlet valve. This inlet valve is designed specifically so that the flow of the water is slowed down. Grease is about 90% of the weight of water so inside the grease interceptor chamber when water is allowed to slow for just long enough, types of ‘grease bubbles’ are given off which rise upwards and collect. The clean pure water is allowed to exit the chamber through the outlet valve.
Grease trap / interceptors come in a range of sizes for different uses. The most common are small, basic structures which are normally used within an ordinary domestic kitchen. A slightly bigger interceptor is one which can be located in the ground and is able to store anything up to a few thousand gallons of grease. These typically tend to be commercial type units and used in restaurants or hospitals for example.
Lastly, further bigger or more specialised interceptors exist, such as ‘grease recovery devices’ or passive grease traps.
How does this help a business?
There are many general and specific business advantages to having a grease trap system installed.
*A basic system for a smaller business is ideal because it can act as part of the setup phase of the business since there is a legal requirement (where appropriate) for companies to having working grease management equipment. These smaller systems will generally cope with the demands or a smaller business and are easy to use, thus balancing cost and efficiency all round.
* As a sustainability point, having grease traps are environmentally friendly. When businesses are promoting theirselves, they can use this as a selling point with the added advantage of knowing they are helping the environment.
*Grease traps eliminate problems such as pipe blockages, backup, and foul odours for individual businesses at site level. If you are a fast moving business these are issues you do not want to face. The more efficient your grease trap is, the chance of these problems happening reduces further.
* Most grease interceptors are made from stainless steel or other similar material. This makes them durable and long lasting.
*The grease that is captured by these devices is actually recyclable. To a business this is advantageous since there is no waste and money is either saved or not outlaid.