Grease Trap Mandate Considered in Pennsylvania
The Ligonier Township Municipal Authority board wants to cut the fat from its sewer system’s diet.
The board is reviewing a draft resolution that will require any establishment producing fats, oils and greases to install a grease trap or interceptor to prevent damage to the sewer system.
“The idea here is to try to control the excessive deposit of fats, oils and greases into the sewer system because they constitute an interference with the process,” said solicitor Donald Snyder.
The board voted to table the resolution so that it has time to read through the document, which Snyder said is extensive because it defines what materials are considered fats, oils and greases. Snyder said the board could possibly adopt the resolution at its February meeting.
The rules will apply to both new and existing businesses and includes commercial kitchens and garages, Snyder said.
These types of regulations are becoming more common, Snyder said. Youngwood council recently drafted an ordinance requiring businesses to add grease interceptors.
The authority has not had any major problems with grease in its service area, Snyder said.
“What we’re trying to do is be proactive and avoid it,” he said.
Grease collecting in the system damages pipes, causes blockages and can result in malfunctioning pumps at pump stations.
“It also would interfere with the biological process at the treatment plant,” Snyder said.
The type of trap or interceptor that will need to be installed will vary case by case, he said.
The resolution requires establishments to maintain the mechanisms. If the grease is not regularly cleaned out of a trap, it will not operate properly, Snyder said. The resolution also restricts the temperature of grease that can be introduced into the system.
“One of the things you don’t want to have happen is for the grease to become emulsified,” he said, explaining that hot grease entering the sewer system, when cooled, creates a Crisco-like substance.
“The biggest offenders are fried-food places,” he said.
To enforce the regulations, Snyder said the authority will check for compliance periodically and likely appoint someone to inspect establishments’ traps and interceptors. Snyder said the authority could take legal action against those not in compliance.
The authority will probably have to get a sewer ordinance passed by the township to further enforce the rules, Snyder said.
Commercial kitchen operators who want to prevent food solids from clogging their grease trap and being flushed into the sewer system should consider installing The Drain Strainer. Invented by a former restaurant owner, The Drain Strainer is our standard food solid separator that your commercial sink drains flow into to protect your drains and grease trap from clogging. The flanged feet on the bottom can be bolted to the floor for added stability. To replace a commercial garbage disposal, the three adjustable legs can be raised up to install the crown adapter snugly against the bottom of the sink bowl.