Shopping malls are everywhere, and although online retailers are creating a tougher environment for mall owners and the retails they house, there are still quite a number of malls in existence in the USA – and, most of them churn out massive amounts of grease in their traps which they need to attend to (or clean up) for compliance reasons.
Most all of the grease produced in shopping malls comes from the various restaurants, mostly located in the food-court areas. With high numbers of shoppers visiting various food establishments, so comes the fat, oils and grease. And, this grease must be re-mediated either by vacating grease traps or by eliminating the grease using chemicals or microbes e.g. bacteria.
Because of the high volume of grease produced as a byproduct of the food sold in the various restaurants, malls are constantly inundated with substantial amounts of grease to dispose of. Hundred, if not thousands, of people, frequently visit the food areas of the malls and on a daily basis, generate endless amounts of the cooking byproduct – grease!
In technical terms, grease contained in mall grease traps is known as FOG, which stand for fat, oil and grease. This FOG is not only a nuisance, it is also a concern of local government and wastewater treatment facilities. Left unattended or remediated, this FOG is able to leave the mall area and travel downstream, through the various central sewer systems, winding up at sewage processing facilities where it has the potential to clog or interrupt the function of the treatment center.
Undigested or rag fat, oil and grease can also pose serious problems in residential communities as the excess grease often causes unnecessary backups. For years, a common solution the the overwhelming amounts of grease would be to administer a chemical agent that would dissolve the FOG. While this type of treatment tremendously helped the shopping malls, it generally caused major issues for residential communities and the sewer authority since the chemicals ‘liquefying’ effect was only temporary. Meaning, once the chemical ‘lost it’s potency’, the grease would later turn back into a solid form. This re-solidifying is also known as recoagulation. In other words, the effect is temporary and for this reason, many local governments have disallowed the use of hard chemicals in grease traps. Today, most states classify chemical based treatments as illegal.
Enter microbes and bacteria! With chemical based treatments, grease merely temporarily transforms from one ‘state’ to another. However, marvelous bacteria not only liquefies FOG aka Fat, oil and grease, it also consumes it and converts it into water and harmless gasses. Enzymes are a byproduct of bacteria, and while they work wonders at liquefying grease, they too merely change the state of grease temporarily. Bacteria consumes the grease, fat and oil and leaves nothing behind that is considered a hindrance to the workings of central sewer facilities or residential sewer lines.
As it stands today, roughly half of the malls around the country have elected to simply have their grease traps pumped clean on a scheduled basis. While this may work to solve a more pressing problem, the long term effect of pumping alone without a microbial (bacteria) treatment will result in clogging of the internal piping running from the mall grease trap location to the city sewer connection.
So, to truly eliminate potential clogging in mall grease traps, and to keep the lines and trap itself much cleaner, be sure to incorporate a high quality microbial based grease trap treatment as part of your overall grease trap maintenance plan. Microbes/bacteria are much safer for the environment, keep the grease trap and internal piping much cleaner and will keep your facility in compliance with the law and the EPA.