Grease Traps

Grease Trap

What is a Grease Trap?

A grease trap (also known as a grease interceptor, grease arrestor or food and oil interceptor) is a holding tank with a number of baffles.  It is specifically designed to slow the flow of warm/hot greasy waste water from commercial kitchens and food preparation areas allowing the waste water to cool. As the water cools , suspended fats, oil and grease from day to day cooking separate and float to the top, solids settle on the bottom and the cleaner and cooler water is discharged to sewer.

The floating fats, oil and grease and the settled food solid will accumulate over time. This means your grease trap will need to be pumped out at regular intervals by a licensed trade waste collection contractor.  The frequency may range from several weeks to several months.  The licensed contractor will use a Vacuum Truck to remove all of the contents and wash and scrape the walls and baffles of the grease trap.  Installing a larger grease trap may reduce the frequency and ongoing cost of pump outs.

Which businesses require a grease trap?

Retail food business that cook or serve hot food will need to install a grease trap. Waste water from food preparation areas, floor wastes, kitchen sinks, dishwashers and garbage areas should all flow into the grease trap.

Typical businesses include:

  • Bakeries

  • Butchers

  • Cafes

  • Catering companies

  • Commercial kitchens

  • Fast food outlets

  • Food manufacturing facilities

  • Function centres

  • Hospital, nursing home kitchens

  • Hotel, motel kitchens

  • Pre-packaged food wholesalers

  • Restaurants

  • Shopping centres (with food shops)

  • Take-away outlets

Why does my business need a grease trap?

By law, local water authorities require that all fats, oils and grease from all commercial food preparation businesses must not be discharged to the sewer system. A grease trap is required to prevent most fats, oils and grease from entering the sewer system where they can solidify and build up to cause blockages, overflows or overload waste water treatment plants.

It is also important to prevent hot liquids from entering a plastic (PVC) sewer system. The pipes can melt and buckle if the waste water discharged to sewer is too hot.