Peters Township Sanitary Authority
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Grease Trap Inspection Program

Why should my business be concerned about Fat, Oil and Grease?

Many establishments feel that  because they do not have a “fryer” that they are not a producer of Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG).  The fact of the matter is that 90% of the FOG discharged from a typical restaurant, either fast food or full service, comes from the 3-bowl sink, which is used for pre-rinsing and/or washing of utensils used during food preparation.

Will running hot water help?

No amount of hot soapy water will keep grease from eventually congealing in the sewer system.  This only pushes the grease through the building drain of your business.  Once it reaches the sewer and cools, it sticks to the walls of the pipes and restricts the flow of sewage from your business. This may eventually clog the sewer causing sewer backups into your business.

How can I prevent problems?

  • Make sure your grease interceptor is clean and working properly.
  • Scrape food scraps from dishes into the trash.
  • Avoid using the garbage disposal as a trash can.
  • Use strainers in the sink to capture debris from entering the sewer system.
  • Transfer grease into a disposable container, allow to cool and put it into the trash.
  • Never pour fat, oil, and grease down the drain.
  • Routinely clean your grease tap to maintain peak operating efficiency.

What is FOG in the sewer system?

FOG is the industry term for Fat, Oil, and Grease that is introduced into the sanitary sewer system.  Many businesses do not know that FOG negatively affects the wastewater treatment process.  This brochure will help you to understand these negative effects to the wastewater treatment process and help to eliminate potential disruptions to your business.

Grease traps are used to keep FOG out of the sanitary sewer system. When FOG enters the waste stream, and ultimately the treatment plant, it creates a variety of problems. It clogs pipes and causes sewage to back up into homes, commercial establishments, and open spaces. As it reaches the plant, grease causes mechanical problems and increases treatment time and costs.

Peters Township has an ordinance which requires "all non-residential establishments that produce fats and grease" to have a working grease trap installed. This trap shall be cleaned periodically to prevent the discharge of FOG to the sanitary sewer system. It is estimated the 90% of the FOG discharged from a typical food service comes from the 3-bowl sink used for pre-rinsing and washing utensils. The FOG produced by households can be dealt with through routine maintenance of the sewer lines and normal treatment at the wastewater plant.

Our Inspection Procedures

If, at the time of inspection, we find that the grease trap is not being routinely cleaned and maintained we will issue a courtesy notice to clean the device immediately and to maintain it from that time forward. The courtesy notice will only be provided once. All future actions after a courtesy notice has been sent will proceed directly to a non-compliance notice.

If a follow-up inspection identifies continued neglect, a notice of noncompliance will be issued  to advise the establishment that it is in violation of local ordinances and state and federal statutes.

If inspection after the noncompliance notice identifies continued neglect, a sample of the establishment's discharge will be collected and analyzed for grease and oil concentration. This will be performed by a contracted laboratory. All costs will be charged to the establishment's sewer account should the results be greater than the Sanitary Authority's discharge limit. When the result of the analysis becomes available, the establishment will be notified in writing. If the concentration of grease and oil exceeds the Sanitary Authority's discharge limit of 100 milligrams per liter (mg/L), a written notice of violation of Township Ordinance, a citation, and an order to comply will be issued. The establishment will be routinely inspected. The discharge will be considered in noncompliance until laboratory analysis confirms compliance.

Grease Trap Standards

The Sanitary Authority requires that all grease traps conform to the Plumbing and Drainage Institute Standard G-101. Grease traps and their installation details must be approved by PTSA before construction. The application for new installations must include the size and type of the trap being proposed as well as a floor plan showing location of trap and all fixtures being connected to trap along with discharge rates for each fixture. A copy of the PDI Standard G-101 may be obtained by contacting the Sanitary Authority.

How a Grease Trap Works

Greasy wastewater enters the trap through a flow control fitting that slows the flow of the wastewater to meet the capacity of the grease trap and to aid in grease separation. The wastewater then passes over a series of baffles within the trap to reduce turbulence in order to cause the grease to rise out of suspension. The grease floats to the top of the trap and accumulates until manually removed. The water continues to flow through the trap and into the sanitary sewer system. Proper maintenance and cleaning will allow the trap to perform as designed.