Grease Trap Program

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) are a particular problem for our wastewater system. Oily, greasy waste, often from restaurants and commercial kitchens that gets into a sink or drain that goes into the sewer, can build up and cause sewer blockages. FOG is the number one cause of such blockages, as it solidifies on the walls of sewer pipes.

Simple ways of reducing the amount of FOG going down your drains include:

  • Collect used oil and grease for recycling or disposal of solid waste.
  • Scrape dishes into a trash bin, not the sink.
  • Prevent spills. When spills happen, clean up with disposable materials (paper towels, kitty litter, spill kit), don't wash the oils down the drain.
  • Clean and cover outdoor recycling areas.
  • Hire a waste-hauling or recycling service to pump out your interceptor regularly.
  • Keep records of cleaning and service to track how often grease traps need to be maintained.
  • Don't connect dishwashers to the grease system.
  • Train staff to keep FOG out of pipes

Grease Traps

Every food preparation establishment is required to have a grease trap or interceptor. There are three types:

  • Passive grease traps are usually located under the sink and must be cleaned out by hand.
  • Automatic grease traps that continually skim the grease off and deposit it in a removable reservoir.
  • Grease interceptors are large volume devices, usually located outside, under the ground, and must be pumped out by a grease hauler.

These devices are essential, but they can't do the job alone:

  • Traps vary in efficiency; some remove only 85% of FOG.
  • Passive grease traps should be cleaned out weekly.
  • Automatic grease traps should have their collection reservoirs emptied daily.
  • Grease interceptors need to be pumped out regularly, on a schedule determined by how quickly they fill. When over 25% of the interceptor is full of grease, the interceptor loses effectiveness; at 50%, the interceptor lets most FOG flow through into the sewer.
  • Keep records in a log of when traps and interceptors are cleaned out and how full they are each time. This helps to ensure the traps and interceptors are regularly maintained.
  • The less FOG that goes down your drain, the less frequently the traps need to be cleaned out.

Grease trap operation inspections are conducted by Town personnel throughout the year and are generally conducted during the customer's business hours.