What is a grease trap?

Problems caused by waste from restaurants and other grease-producing establishments, have served as the basis for ordinances governing the discharge of grease materials to the sanitary sewer system. This type of waste has forced the requirement of the installation of preliminary treatment facilities, commonly known as grease traps and/or interceptors.


The terms grease trap/interceptor tends to be interchangeable. A grease trap is a small reservoir built into wastewater piping a short distance from the grease producing area. This is normally an under sink box-shaped fixture located in the kitchen, though they can be installed in the service area floor, but either way not larger than 20-30 gallons. Reservoir baffles retain the wastewater long enough to allow the grease to solidify and rise to the surface. Building staff can then remove and dispose the grease properly, either in a building exterior grease collection tub, or in the trash. Due to the nature of this system being so limited in size constant monitoring and maintenance an absolute must.


The maintenance schedule is largely dependent upon its usage. If a grease trap or interceptor is not maintained regularly it will not provide proper grease removal. Establish a specific cleaning schedule. All grease traps/interceptors need to have the grease cleaned out periodically. Running extremely hot water down the drain only moves the problem further down stream. It does not go away. Catch the grease at the source, as this is the most economical means to reduce all costs.

Show All Answers

1. What is a grease trap?
2. Can you recommend a maintenance schedule?
3. Do I need a grease trap?
4. What if I don’t install a grease trap?
5. Who determines if I need a grease trap or interceptor?
6. How can I get in compliance?
7. How does the JCSA ensure compliance?
8. What is a grease interceptor and how does it work?
9. What are the criteria for inspecting grease traps?
10. What is FOG?
11. What are the negative impacts of FOG?
12. What about using my garbage disposal or use detergent to wash it down the drain?
13. What is the JCSA doing about educating the public?