Facts You Should Know About Grease Traps

Having your own restaurant business is a dream that many people have. Running an actual restaurant, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Why? Because not only do you need to serve good food and have a great crew, you also have to pass a ton of requirements and approvals and one of the things you need to take care of, even before your place opens up business, is your waste management. This is where Grease Traps come in.


A Grease Trap is basically a container or tank made of metal or plastic that is connected to your kitchen drainage system. It is usually placed right between the kitchen sinks and dishwashers, and the main sewer system. They are also referred to as Grease Arrestors or Grease Interceptors. It more or less looks like this (image of grease trap)


Simply put, a Grease Trap does what its name suggests: it traps fats, oils, grease, as well as food solids from your waste water. How exactly does it do that? Well, when waste water goes down the kitchen drain, it will pass through the Grease Trap where the grease and oil floats to the surface and the food solids settles to the bottom, making the liquid waste flow in the middle. The liquid waste, free of most of the oils, grease, and food solids is then forced out through a tube and then to the main sewer system. This way, your establishment’s sewer pipes do not get clogged up due to the grease and food solids in the wastewater.

As an added bonus though, not only do Grease Traps prevent clogging of sewer pipes from grease and food solids, but they also protect your PVC pipes from possible wear and tear that could be caused by large volumes of hot water from your kitchen sinks or dishwashers. It lets the hot water cool off first in the receptacle before letting it proceed through to the main sewer system. You see, PVC pipes are made of synthetic plastic polymers and like other plastic material, they become brittle and don’t hold well with regular exposure to hot liquids.


As unfamiliar as its name might sound, Grease Traps are not really that difficult to figure out. As a matter of fact, a simple Grease Trap only has four major parts: and inlet, a receptacle, a removable lid, and an outlet. (an image here would help)

How does it work exactly? Well, whenever waste water goes down the kitchen sink or dishwasher drain, it first goes into the Grease Trap receptacle through the inlet. Once inside, the fats, oils, and grease floats to the surface while the food solids settles at the bottom, leaving the rest of the waste water at the middle of the container, which then is forced out through the outlet as more waste water comes through the drain.


There are two kinds of Grease Traps: the passive or above-ground and the in-ground or below-ground.

1. Passive or Above-ground Grease Traps

This type of Grease Trap can be placed inside or outside the kitchen, depending on its size. The receptacles can be made of metal, fiberglass, or PVC. The smaller kinds, usually placed inside the kitchen, have limited capacity for handling large volumes of liquid kitchen waste and should be regularly cleaned. Meanwhile, larger passive or above-ground Grease Traps are typically installed outside the premises and have considerably larger receptacles. In fact, there are above-ground modular Grease Traps that can be expanded over time.

2. In-ground (or Below-ground) Grease Traps

In-ground Grease Traps, as its name suggest, are typically buried underground and generally have larger capacities than above-ground types. They are often made of metal, concrete, or fibreglass. There are also some that made of PVC. Some establishments prefer this type because it makes for a cleaner look for their establishment since it’s hidden. This requires more work, however, during installation, due to the fact that it has to be lifted in place by heavy machinery.


Aside from the Grease Trap itself, you will need other things to make the disposal of your waste water more efficient.

  • Hydraulic plan/design – for your trade waste system, which should be submitted and approved by local authorities before installation.
  • Venting system – specifically designed to aid the efficiency of Grease Trap installations.
  • Back-flow protection fitting – to make sure that the main water supply system is protected from your waste water.
  • Bucket traps – to prevent large debris from entering your drainage system.

Do you know that Grease Traps have been around for over a hundred years? Yes, this equipment have been around that long because the food industry have figured out long ago that they need to be better at disposing their waste water. Today, not only is it a social responsibility of food establishments to have proper waste water management, it is actually required of them to do so by local authorities. As a matter of fact, in Brisbane all kinds of business establishments should be aware of the city’s Trade Waste Guide.

So if you’re thinking of putting up your dream café or restaurant business, don’t be just a savvy business mind, strive to also be a socially responsible one. Make sure to have the proper waste water system for your business.

If you don’t know how or where to start then we can help with the right advice for your specific situation. The rules and regulations are different all around Australia. We can supply your Grease Trap Australia wide plus Hydraulic Design and Installation

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