Pump Perks: 10 Tools to Tackle Grease Handling

Tightening regulations. Rising disposal costs. Curse words for a septic pumper. Tackle it all with these grease handling equipment picks.
Pump Perks: 10 Tools to Tackle Grease Handling
ADS 30-yard dewatering unit from AQUA-Zyme Disposal Systems

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Tightening restaurant grease trap regulations. Rising disposal costs. These are curse words for a septic pumper. They’re also signs that perhaps it’s time to invest in grease handling equipment. 

Grease trap cleaning and pumping can be lucrative additions to a septic pumping operation. Equipment used to handle grease — dewatering units, containment tanks and interceptors — will help you keep grease in check and drainlines open. 

Myrtle Creech, owner of Creech’s Septic Tank & Grease Trap Cleaning in Lucama, N.C., provides grease service across eight counties, and the restaurants that generate the grease makes up 75 percent of total revenue. The grease trap cleaning side of the business took off as restaurants were increasingly required to dispose of grease in environmentally sound ways. 

“Over the years, cities have it now that it’s mandatory to pump them and to keep them and to keep the grease out of sewers,” Creech says. “We get contracts to pump them every 30 days. Some cities are a lot stricter than others.” 

She warns potential newcomers to the grease trap service sector that it’s not an easy undertaking, but once you’re in, it can be a rewarding business venture. “If I were not in the pumping business I would not get into the [grease trap] business,” she says. “It’s very expensive to start up. It’s really detailed and there is a lot of equipment and it keeps you busy 24/7. I pretty much don’t have any time off, but I like it like that.” 

Whether local laws require restaurants to have grease traps cleaned every 30 days or once every three months, make sure you have the best equipment to meet your customers’ needs. 

Grease dewatering units and containers for pumping or dumping collection let you better manage disposal requirements and reduce sludge volume. If you’re considering adding grease trap service to your pumping business, here are some products to help you stay busy: 

  • The ADS 30-yard dewatering unit from AQUA-Zyme Disposal Systems can be filled with 22,000 to 25,000 gallons of liquid waste at 1 to 2 percent solids in about two hours. After draining 24 hours, the unit can be hauled to a landfill or other permitted facility for disposal. Sludge volume can be reduced by 80 percent, with reductions to 98 percent in BOD, COD, FOG and TSS.
  • High-security steel grease containers from Bakers Waste Equipment incorporate several features that lock down the container lid and prevent theft of cooking grease for bio fuel conversion. The all-steel container lids also include high-security dump screens for filtering solids.
  • The Model 1600 flat storage tank from Crescent Tank reduces the need for separate pickup/delivery and service vehicles, which in turn saves on fuel, insurance, payroll and maintenance costs. It features a lift gate, which allows the driver to place 55-gallon drums on the deck. The waste tank capacity is 1,600 gallons.
  • The indoor containment system from Envirotub is made from recycled plastic that eliminates grease buildup and allows for easy cleaning. The system measures 18 inches wide, 32 inches high and 28 inches long, enabling it to fit under most two- and three-compartment kitchen sinks, and has four cast-iron wheels with optional locking.
  • Sludge Mate container filters from Flo Trend Systems can dewater a variety of sludge and wastes such as alum, ferric, lagoon dredgings, digested sludge, septic tank and grease trap waste, wastewater residuals and sump bottom materials. The closed system design provides odor control, no spillage, reduced maintenance and weather independence. 

For septic and grease pumper Shon Steele, a 2007 California law that barred pumpers from using the same vacuum trucks to haul both grease and septage has complicated grease pumping and increased expenses for his business, G & C Septic located in Sacramento. 

“Before, we would take a single truck to Sacramento, clean three or four grease traps, dump it in Sacramento, then take off and pump out three or four septic tanks up there, too,” Steele says. “Now, if we do three or four grease traps in Sacramento, we dump in Sacramento, then have to drive back to Galt, where the driver has to switch trucks to go and do septic runs in Sacramento.” 

Grease processing systems and vacuum units can help you manage these and other grease pumping regulations: 

  • The SM BG 10,000 Series GREASEZILLA from Downey Ridge Environmental comes preassembled, allowing for quicker onsite installation and startup. It processes concentrated raw trap waste into a marketable commodity – a clean product that features moisture content of less than 1 percent.
  • Vacuum tank units from Vacuum Sales Inc. are available in 500- to 5,000-gallon capacities and constructed of aluminum, stainless steel or carbon steel for grease collection. They are available with any make and model cab and chassis, along with any make and model rotary vane pump or positive displacement blower.
  • The Conde PROVAC from Westmoor Ltd. is a preassembled industrial liquid waste pumping system ideal for grease trap pumping. It is quiet and lightweight, and pumps at a maximum rate of 120 gpm. A built-in exhaust deodorizer minimizes odor. It is easily switched from vacuum mode to pressure mode for off-loading. 

Help your grease trap service customers keep fats, oils and grease out of sewers with these grease traps and interceptors: 

  • The 4800 Series high-density polyethylene (HDPE) grease traps/interceptors from Ashland PolyTraps will not rust or corrode, and feature lightweight, one-piece mold construction that’s shippable anywhere. They are PDI certified/approved, UPC listed and IAPMO listed. They can be installed on the ground or belowground, are economical and nonstick for easy cleaning.
  • Endura grease interceptors from Canplas feature a removable solids basket that can be fitted in place of the inlet baffle to capture both coarse and fine debris, retaining it in a defined area without impacting function. It features integrated handles for ease of removal, removable filter screens within the basket and a flow path that maximizes effectiveness. 

Want to learn more? Check out complete product listings and manufacturer contact information.


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