Why Restaurants Need to Regularly Clean Their Grease Traps

Grease traps are an important part of any commercial kitchen, as they prevent grease that is washed down the drains from entering the sewers. But without regular cleaning, grease traps can fill up and cause all kinds of problems.

Dirty grease traps will start to give off horrible smells, and if they’re left too long, they can solidify into a giant blockage for drains and pipes. This can lead to expensive plumbing repairs, which end up costing much more than regular grease trap services. That’s why the best thing a restaurant owner can do is to have their grease traps regularly cleaned.

Here are five of the worst problems that can be avoided by regularly maintaining your grease traps:

1. Hygiene and Odour Issues

One of the biggest problems with a dirty grease trap is its smell. Restaurant owners might think that so long as the smell isn’t inside the premises then there’s no problem, but the unpleasant odour of decomposing grease and food that greets customers as they walk to and from their cars will hurt your business and its reputation. Also, this smell can seep inside the as customers pull in and out of the restaurant.

The hygiene issues that a dirty grease trap raises could prompt customers to turn to your competitors. Employees will also resent having to deal with the decomposing food and grease (not to mention the stench).

2. Plumbing Issues

Not cleaning your grease trap regularly will cause the grease to solidify into an immovable object, which can contribute to all sorts of plumbing issues. At worst, they can even block the rest of your drainage, causing toilets, sinks and drains to start filling and backing up. Then comes the foul smell.

Having these plumbing issues would be bad enough on a good day, but if your grease traps aren’t being properly maintained, then they could crop up at any time – not a good look for a successful restaurant.

3. Expensive Plumbing Repairs

Uncleaned grease traps often result in food and grease fermenting into sulfuric acid. This acid is strong enough to burn away and damage anything it touches, including the grease trap itself. This leads to expensive repairs, especially if your other plumbing starts getting blocked too.

If your grease trap and plumbing does end up needing emergency repairs, it can be extremely expensive for your business. This is can be especially so due to the quick, emergency nature of the work. And you’ll need to cover this if you want your business up and running again.

4. Closure of Restaurant and Loss of Revenue

If your restaurant closes due to problems with your grease trap, it can cost you more than just the repair bill. Downtime can result in lost revenue, stock expiring and employees on salary continuing to be paid.

If your restaurant is closed for long enough, employees on a contract or casual basis may end up looking for work elsewhere. And don’t forget your competitors; they’ll be profiting each day your restaurant is out of action.

5. Damages or Blockages to Sewage System

Dirty and full grease traps can also overflow into the sewage system, dumping toxic waste and sulfuric acid into the public waste water system. Not only can this get your restaurant into a lot of trouble with authorities and have you shut down, but you’ll also have to pay huge fines in addition to the repair work.

6. Non-Compliance Fines

The Water Corporation requires all cafes and restaurants to hold a trade waste permit and comply with all permit conditions in order for trade waste to be accepted into their wastewater system.

Failing to maintain your grease trap and comply with your permit conditions can result in hefty fines and even disconnection from the Water Corporation’s wastewater system.

The Water Corporation uses bar codes stickers at registered grease traps. When a restaurant is designed, the size and service frequency of a grease traps’ service regime is signed off by hydraulic engineers, based on the size and type of business using it.

Instant Waste Management’s dedicated staff will provide copies of these regular electronic service records to the Water Corporation – meaning you won’t be chased or fined by the Water Corp.

Avoid all the mess and give the team at Instant Waste Management a call. We’re the largest family-owned waste recycling company in WA, and specialise in grease trap services for the hospitality industry. We’ve won multiple awards, by making sure our clients receive the best possible waste solutions. So contact us today, to organise a waste management solution for you.