When grease interceptors (or grease traps) are not properly maintained, grease from commercial kitchens goes into the sewer, where it builds up and clogs the sewer system. In Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley we have bylaws that set requirements in order to limit the amount of grease and solids that can flow into the sewers.
In order to keep in compliance with regulations in BC here are the guidelines provided by Metro Vancouver.
A grease trap should be:
- connected to any fixture that generates grease
- properly sized – if it is too small it will fill with fats, oils and grease too quickly and will not do its job
- equipped with a sampling point so that the quality of liquids leaving the interceptor can be tested
- accessible – so it can be inspected and so you can maintain it.
Grease traps only work if they are cleaned and properly maintained. These are the key maintenance requirements for grease interceptors. For additional information, please see the official bylaw No. 268 listed on the Metro Vancouver website.
- The depth of fats, oils, grease and solids (combined together) must not be more than 25% of the total liquid depth of the grease interceptor
- Have grease interceptors fully pumped out by a waste management company, like McRae’s Septic:
- when fats, oils, grease and solids are more than 25% of the total liquid depth OR
- every 90 days (whichever occurs first).
- inspect all components that may affect its proper operation.
Wastewater leaving the grease interceptor should not exceed the regulation limits of:
- 300 mg/L of oil and grease
- 600 mg/L of solids
This should not be a problem if the grease interceptor is properly maintained.
- Don’t use enzymes or other agents that will allow grease to pass through the grease interceptor and go into the sewer.
- Keep a record of inspection and maintenance activities. Have two years on hand and available for inspection.
- Have someone on site who can open the grease interceptor for inspection.