What is the cost to drain a grease trap?

Many prospective entrepreneurs will ask themselves, “what is the cost to drain a grease trap.”  The food and hospitality industries are two of the largest business categories in the United States.  Food service typically includes hospitality and this is very evident with all the establishments and facilities in every state.  And as you know, food contains plant and animal fat. The by-product of food preparation is FOG (fats, oils, grease).  Resorts, country clubs, motels, hotels, restaurants, food chains, nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons are heavy producers of FOG in the United States.  These structures are equipped with kitchens that constantly make food for the people who are always in them.  Years go by and the FOG crisis only gets much worse. With this environmental dilemma, the government has established a grease or pretreatment ordinance for everyone to follow.

In the grease or pretreatment ordinance, a grease interceptor or grease trap is required in every facility or establishment that produces food.  If the structure is small, the grease trap could be installed indoors. If the structure is large, then the grease trap should be installed underneath the ground, outside.  The ordinance states that the owners or facilitators in the food and hospitality industry should make sure that the grease trap has a permit because it will be regularly inspected by the City Sewer Department.  Grease traps can range from a capacity of 350 gallons to 25,000 gallons.  The grease trap should be designed and built according to the size and use of the structure it serves. They should also be maintained on a regular basis, depending on the frequency of use and the rate at which it gets full.  But what is the cost to drain a grease trap?

The grease trap or grease interceptor is a component in kitchens that’s designed to keep the FOG from getting into the main wastewater lines that are directly connected to the wastewater treatment facility.  If the FOG frequently enters the wastewater treatment plant, it would be very expensive to process, treat, and produce clean drinking water for residents.  The grease trap decreases the flow rate of the FOG-filled wastewater.   In the distance between the drain and the grease trap, the FOG cools down and solidifies. The baffles in the grease trap then trap the solidified FOG and hold it so that it won’t mix with the untreated effluent anymore. The accumulated FOG and solid wastes in the grease trap will then be removed and disposed of by a licensed hauler. They use a huge vacuum or pump truck to do this.

The cost to drain a grease trap is estimated to be between $75 and $150.  A larger grease trap that has a capacity of 1000 gallons and above should cost $300 or more to drain. There are several factors that influence the cost of grease trap draining:

  • Access
  • Location
  • Size

There should be a maintenance schedule already set up for the grease trap, no matter how large or small it is. It isn’t advisable to form the habit of having your grease trap pumped after hours or on emergency. The grease trap is usually priced by the gallon because of their much larger sizes. Also consider the fact that the haulers could charge more because of the oil price hike. They will charge the client for the gas they spent to reach the venue.

The grease trap in every food and hospitality establishment should be drained and cleaned twice a week, once a month, or on a quarterly basis, depending on the factors given earlier and also by the manner of usage. The frequency of the grease trap draining also depends on the last evaluation or inspection conducted.

It would definitely lessen the frequency of grease trap draining if bacteria are used every time it’s cleaned up. It will even save the establishment a lot of time and money if non-pathogenic bacteria are used to eliminate the FOG, solid wastes, and the foul odors in the grease traps. Thee you have it: there’s how much it costs to drain a grease trap.