Grease Trap Cleaning

17 million

liquid waste collected

25 years

of expertise

A grease trap (also known as a grease interceptor) is a plumbing device designed to collect all the wastewater from the kitchen, and remove the fats, oils and grease (FOGs) in order to prevent these from entering the sewer system or wastewater treatment plant.

A grease trap separates, and stores, the oils, fats and grease from the wastewater that comes from a kitchen. It filters the wastewater and prevents the oils and grease from entering a wastewater treatment plant.

Waste water from your kitchen (drains, dishwashers and basins) enters the grease trap. As the wastewater cools, the fat, oil, and grease (FOG) hardens and the food solids settle. The FOG, being lighter than water, floats to the top of the grease trap. The wastewater then exits the grease trap and flows into the wastewater treatment plant.

Every restaurant serving any type of greasy food or baked goods (baked on premises) requires a grease trap to prevent blockages in sewer pipes, due to accumulated fat, oil, and grease (FOG) discharged from the kitchens of food facilities. If you don’t remove the FOG from your wastewater, you will, in effect, destroy the natural biological process that breaks down the solids in your sewage treatment plant.

Businesses that are on town sewage (ie. those that discharge to sewer instead of wastewater treatment plants), MUST have an agreement and a license with their local water authority to discharge their grease traps (trade waste) into the sewer network. The water authorities enforce the regular cleaning of grease traps by issuing harsh fines if businesses don’t comply, because it costs the authorities a lot of money to keep their pipes and treatment plants working effectively.

So it doesn’t matter if your food business is connected to sewer, or not… it costs to maintain your grease trap, but the cost is well worth it in the long run.

Seating Capacity Standard Grease Interceptor Sizes
0-38 600 Litre Grease Interceptor
39-69 1,100 Litre Grease Interceptor
70-199 2,000 Litre Grease Interceptor
200-499 3,000 Litre Grease Interceptor
500-799 4,000 Litre Grease Interceptor
800-1000 5,000 Litre Grease Interceptor

This varies from business to business and really depends on how much fat, oil, and grease (FOG) you put down your kitchen drains, together with how big your grease trap is. On average, grease traps are emptied between every 1 – 3 months. A helpful rule to live by is that a desludge (pump out) is due when one quarter (1/4) of your grease trap is filled with FOG. The technician cleaning your tank out will be able to provide the best advice on frequency of desludging.

Regular cleaning of your grease trap is critically important as the FOG will destroy the natural biological process by killing off the good bacteria in your sewage treatment plant, therefore increasing the cost of repairs.

Yes, they do! They smell really bad! The primary cause of most grease trap odour is the decomposition of organic waste as it passes through your system. To help manage strong odours, you could try the following:

  • Increase the frequency of desludging your grease trap
  • Use bacterial additives that dose your drain lines
  • Check your lids to make sure they are sealed properly

This is the most important question and can save you a lot of money if you stop the FOG from going down the drain in the first place. Please try and implement the following in your workplace:

  • Allow the grease to solidify and then throw in the bin
  • Clean dishes as much of as possible with a paper towel or cloth and dispose into the bin before washing in the sink or dishwasher (it’s often the little bits that build up and cause problems)
  • Ensure that all coffee cups are cleaned with a cloth prior to washing and NEVER pour milk down the drain.
  • Avoid pouring alcohol down the drain! It also has an adverse effect on the performance of the grease trap and sewage treatment plant.

If the FOG from your grease trap enters your wastewater treatment plant, it will not only destroy the natural biological process that breaks down the solids in your sewage treatment plant, but it may result in costly repairs to blocked sewer pipes, filters, irrigation pipes and failed pumps.

If your treatment plant becomes contaminated with FOG, you will need to desludge your grease trap AND your whole wastewater treatment plant.

Please contact Harmor today if you need your grease trap pumped out. Harmor can also setup reccurring reminders to let you know when your grease trap is due to be desludged.

Fats, oils and grease (FOGs) that enter the sewer network (or wastewater treatment system) will destroy the natural biological process that breaks down the solids.

Therefore, all commercial kitchens, including restaurants, cafes, catering companies and fast-food outlets, must have a grease trap installed.

It is critical to have your grease trap emptied regularly to prevent blockages in your sewer pipes. The frequency in which you need to empty your grease trap depends on the type and size of your business, and it will be stipulated by your local water authority. Failure to empty your grease trap, can result in substantial fines from your local water authority and may result in blocked sewer pipes and costly emergency repair bills.

Harmor Liquid Waste Solutions has a diverse fleet of trucks, designed to handle all sizes of businesses from a small cafe through to large multilocation restaurants. Its fleet is also designed to access grease traps in tight access areas, including trucks that can fit under 2.1m height limits.

Harmor’s range of grease trap cleaning and monitoring services include:

  • Complete removal of grease trap contents
  • Washing and scraping of walls and baffles
  • Inlet and outlet point inspections
  • Reporting and repairs of trap condition where we find problems
  • Waste tracking documentation from source to disposal
  • Transportation to an EPA compliant treatment facility

For more information or to obtain a quotation, please contact us on 1800 HARMOR.

Get a Quote