Florida Mandates Grease Trap Cleaning Regulations To Fight Fatbergs
The City of Tampa Florida has implemented a campaign to spread awareness of new state laws governing the disposal of cooking fat and oil.
Restaurants must pump out both spent oil and the accompanying dirty water simultaneously under the new regulations without allowing any water to accumulate in the grease trap. Previously, during a "pump and return" system, employees were permitted to leave behind some "gray water," but this is now prohibited.
This reinforces a City ordinance from 2006 that established guidelines for disposing of grease and oil in an effort to lessen the prevalence of fatbergs. The combination of hardened grease, oil, and non-biodegradable items such as baby wipes, leads to the formation of these rock-like lumps inside sewers and pipes that resemble greasy icebergs.
The Director of Waste Management says that the grease solidifies when it enters the sewers. Flushable wipes frequently aren't flushable and don't decompose, so they can combine with the grease from commercial kitchens to create these fatbergs.
In accordance with this new regulation, grease trap cleaning companies must keep a service manifest that certifies that the grease trap waste they collect is disposed of at a facility that has been approved to handle it.
Manifests will be examined by inspectors from the grease management program of the Wastewater Department while they are performing normal inspections of food service facilities.
The City of Tampa started sending out mailers to restaurants and commercial kitchens detailing the modification to state law regarding grease trap cleaning.
The Director of Waste Management noted that restaurants are the primary offenders when he remarked, "Wastewater overflows from grease was the number one cause of overflows in the city of Tampa." At least one overflow call is still handled by crews each day.
To prevent problems in your commercial kitchen that can result from having a clogged grease trap, consider installing The Drain Strainer. Invented by a former restaurant owner, The Drain Strainer is a commercial garbage disposal alternative that captures food solids that could clog your pipes and grease trap while still allowing your sinks to drain quickly.