Grease and oil traps on commercial installations serve a very important environmental function. They separate vehicle oil and food grease from waste water in business settings such as repair garages, restaurants and hotels before it enters an area’s sewer system. If these substances are not removed they can congeal and clot causing hazardous sewage flooding. They can also leach into the surrounding soil and contaminate the ground and water supplies. For this reason it is very important to clean the traps regularly. It is also a requirement by law that they be cleaned within a set period of time.
Vancouver Bylaw: FOOD SECTOR GREASE INTERCEPTOR BYLAW – 268 (GVS&DD)
A grease interceptor must be examined, and cleaned:
(a) at least once every 90 consecutive days; or
(b) when the total thickness of fats, oils and grease and solids in the grease interceptor is equal to 25% or more of the wastewater depth, whichever occurs earlier, or at any time an officer or the Sewage Control Manager directs.
Some of the indicators that a grease or oil trap needs to be cleaned immediately are the following.
Clogged Drain Lines
Since the purpose of the traps is to separate the waste material from the waste water, than when the waste water stops flowing out of the building it is a good indication that the trap is not working and needs to be cleaned. For many, the first indication that this has occurred is when a sink does not drain properly. This can happen when there is a high volume of grease or oil that is being disposed of. A proper cleaning should remedy the situation.
A secondary purpose of the traps is to keep the odor of rancid oil and grease at bay. When the unmistakable smell starts to invade the work area it is an indication that the traps are becoming full or clogged and are in need of a good cleaning. By rectifying the situation promptly, employees and customers alike can be kept happy.
Generally this means that too long a time has passed since the traps have been cleaned. The oil and grease has overflowed the trap and congealed blocking the sewer lines. This often requires the hiring of contractors to clean the lines and can cause damage to the interior of the business that has the traps. Cleaning the traps usually becomes a business owners top priority after having to pay the expenses of cleaning up the results of a sewer back-up.
Ensure your business stays compliant to our municipal bylaws, avoids costly fines or bills and preserve our lakes, rivers, coastline and watersheds. Contact McRae’s Septic and we can put you on a computerized schedule to keep your grease traps and drain pipes clean and reports up to date.
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