Massachusetts Town Plans Crack Down On Grease Trap Pumping

Massachusetts Town Plans Crack Down On Grease Trap Pumping

Commercial kitchens in Bourne Massachusetts that are linked to the sewer system are being warned that new sewer regulations regarding grease trap pumping will be enforced in an effort to safeguard the infrastructure of the sewer system.

At a recent meeting of the board of sewage commissioners, the town administrator brought up the matter. The town is preparing to start a manhole project near an existing restaurant and the town administrator wanted to bring the issue of damage to the sewer system to the board’s attention.

The town administrator recommended to the sewer commissioners that they approve allocating the majority of the $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money to rebuilding and repairing pumps and manholes close to the existing restaurant. Grease from the restaurant has blocked the system and is a significant contributor to the issue.

Fats, oils, and grease, or FOG, are particularly harmful to a sewer system and can vastly diminish the life of your infrastructure according to the town administrator. She took care to point out that the problem of grease clogging the sewer system does not only affect the existing restaurant. She claimed that every commercial kitchen is affected by the problem.

According to the Town Engineer, the external grease trap at the existing restaurant was recently inspected. Grease traps are plumbing fixtures used to collect fats, oils, and grease before they enter the sewer system.

The existing restaurant lacks an internal grease trap since it was constructed before the state’s plumbing code was changed to require one. According to the Town Engineer, the restaurant’s external grease trap was examined and did not appear to be in need of repair. However, there was signs of grease buildup in the sewer pump chamber.

A pumping record of the external grease trap from five days before to the inspection was provided by the owner, who claimed that it revealed a collection of one to two inches of grease, which corresponded to around 18 gallons of grease discharged by the establishment each day.

He commented, “That’s a tremendous amount of grease.”

In testimony to the state senate, the US Environmental Protection Agency claimed that obstructions in sewer systems are to blame for 50% of sewer overflows, with fats, oils, and grease accounting for 47% of those blockages.

The board chairwoman asked how many commercial kitchens in Bourne lack interior grease traps. The town administrator admitted that there are other neighborhoods in the city with comparable issues. She also admitted that companies are not immune from complying with new requirements or grandfathered in.

In order to demonstrate that a business will comply with the town’s sewer regulations, the Director of the Public Works Department suggested that businesses with only an external grease trap be put on a biweekly grease trap pumping program until an internal grease trap is installed or some other improvement is made.

According to the sewer requirements, commercial kitchen owners are accountable for having grease traps and interceptors examined at least monthly, having the traps cleaned and inspected frequently by an authorized vendor, and maintaining current and accessible service records.

She continued by saying that while the board establishes the standard under the rules, it is up to the business owner to determine how to achieve it.

The business owners should soon get warnings reminding them of the town’s intention to enforce its sewer restrictions. Grease traps must be approved by the Department of Public Works and subject to inspection.

The town administrator produced a warning package to be issued to business owners after announcing that she would return to the commissioners “to flush out taxes and fines.”

If you’d like to keep food debris from clogging your grease interceptor so you won’t need to have it pumped out as often, consider installing The Drain Strainer.

Invented by a former restaurant owner, The Drain Strainer captures food solids that normally clog your pipes and grease interceptor, while still allowing your sinks to drain quickly.

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