Grease Traps have been around for a very long time. About 140-years. Sometimes called grease interceptors, converters, catchers, grease recovery management equipment or simply FOG (Fats Oil and Grease) traps, they are well established plumbing tools designed to intercept FOG and stopping it getting into the wastewater and sewage systems.
So, What’s the History of the Grease Trap?
Nathaniel T. Whiting of San Francisco, California patented the Grease Trap on October 21, 1884. Grease Trap technology has remained essentially the same since then.
In the opening part of his patent application Nathaniel Whiting wrote:
“My invention relates to a trap or apparatus which is to be applied to the discharge-pipes of sinks, &c., and which is especially designed to separate grease and sediment from the water and collect it in a body, so as to be otherwise disposed of, while allowing the water to escape without being loaded with substances which would tend to choke and clog the sewers.”
But cogging is a problem as old as sewers themselves. The ancient Romans built sewers beneath their cities before the advent of the grease trap. Research has revealed that these sewers were cleaned manually by slaves or prisoners. Whether they thought they were better clearing a stinking sewer or being thrown to the lions in the Coliseum, we don’t know.
How Do Grease Traps Work?
Grease traps work on the basis that animal fats and vegetable oils are 10 to 15% less dense than water. And since grease won’t mix with water, these fats and oils float on top of it.
Meanwhile solids settle at the bottom of the grease trap while the clear water is allowed to discharge into the sewer.
Sometimes the FOG globule adheres to food particles and these solids sink to the bottom of the grease trap. As a result, you end up with FOG at both the top and bottom of the trap.
Unless the grease trap is managed properly solids and grease can build-up, and if left to build up for long enough they can start to escape into the sewage system and back up through it.
Over the last few years many major cities around the world have found fatbergs building up within their sewer networks. This has often occurred in sewers close to restaurants, hotels and cafes.
In September 2017, workers in London discovered one of the biggest fatbergs ever seen. In the East End of the city in Whitechapel, it was more than 800 feet long and weighed an estimated 130 metric tons. Engineers took 13-weeks to remove it bit by bit.
How to Keep a Grease Trap Clean
It’s best to take a proactive standpoint in the fight against FOG. Reduce oil usage as much as possible and have a regular maintenance programme for keeping the Grease Trap clean and operating efficiently.
Pouring harsh caustic chemical cleaners or acids into it into a Grease Trap to clear obstructions and smells is no longer eco-friendly. Not only can they be dangerous to the user, they can harm the environment as well.
That’s why we created FATKING to breakdown animal fats and vegetable oils in grease traps, drains and sewers.
FATKING is a highly concentrated blend of multiple bacterial spores, specifically selected to function in grease trap environments.
FATKING works in partnership with FOGKING. FOGKING is a scientifically developed supercharged catalyst designed to accelerate the biodegradation of in the of Fats, Oil & Grease and works by providing FATKING with a food source.
To find out more about how Avantu can help your business or locality manage Grease Traps or the build up of FOG in sewer systems contact us now.
We hope you enjoyed this potted history of the grease trap, you can download a copy of Nathaniel T. Whiting’s Patent by clicking on the link.