Wastewater from commercial kitchens in restaurants and hotels is reported to be one of the highest contributors of fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Additionally, some food processing industries such as meat packaging, dairy farms, etc. are also known to produce wastewater high in FOG content. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) is formed because of byproducts of food preparation and cooking processes, particularly when plant and animal sources are processed by using cooking oils. Common contributors of FOG include – dairy products, grease from cooking, meat fats, batter, dressings, deep-fried foods, baked goods, etc. Worldwide there has been an exponential rise in the number of people who prefer to dine-out or order take-out food from restaurants. Although the food and drink sales have been increasing substantially, the percentage of FOG generation and associated problems has also increased proportionally. This generated FOG gets accumulated in ventilation hood, drainage pipes via dishwasher and floor drains and eventually in sewer drains causing blockages and sanitary sewer overflows (SSO). These overflows can be a major cause of odor nuisance and it could also be a potential source of microbial contamination endangering human health. FOG accumulation can also result in groundwater aquifer contamination or pollution, thus restricting availability of already-scarce fresh drinking water sources. Prolonged FOG deposition in sewer mains can cause corrosion of sewer linings in the absence of oxygen, reducing the lifespan of capital-intensive infrastructure such as large sewer mains. FOG deposits in wastewater streams could hinder treatment processes at publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities.
One of the major detrimental impacts of FOG accumulation is on the aquatic lives living in the natural water sources due to presence of oily water due to FOG releases from wastewater treatment plants into water bodies. The presence of fats, oils, and grease prevent penetration of sunlight into water bodies, thus hindering photosynthesis and ultimately flora and fauna under water. Eventually, these practices impact the human ecosystem and food chain. This article provides a quick guidance for commercial kitchen operators in restaurants and hotels on some of the best management practices to reduce and treat problems arising from Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG). It is part of a new venture by Sani Service on Bio Cleaning of Sewer Pipes. Sani Water are now exclusive distributors of SmartPipe Systems product viz. Biotroop BL-20 for efficient, ecological, and sustainable cleaning and maintenance of sewer pipelines across the UAE especially in commercial applications such as restaurants, cruise lines, real estate operators, shopping malls, industry, and water treatment facilities. SmartPipe System provides wastewater and pipe management solutions to sanitize drainage pipes and sewers without chemical or heavy flushing. All products are environmentally friendly and use natural microbial pipe treatment solutions based on live microbes.
Saniservice has been at the forefront of providing their customers with the latest products and sustainable, ecological disinfection treatment technologies available for sewer pipe maintenance and cleaning.
With “Bio Cleaning of Sewer Pipes”, Saniservice aims to educate and inform their customers about the fundamentals of residential and commercial grease trap maintenance and sewer disinfection treatments primarily used for preventing pipe blockages and odor control.
GUIDANCE ON FOG BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
COMMERCIAL KITCHEN FOG REMOVAL TECHNIQUES
- Addition of Bacterial Cleaning Agents – Microbial Degradation
A variety of cleaning agents are available in the market today promising a “quick” solution to pipe clogging and drainage issues caused by FOG. Although these chemical and enzymatic cleaners may dissolve FOG and discharge out of the pipes, they can have harmful effects on the operations of wastewater treatment plants and pipe infrastructure over time. Microbial degradation using bacteria is the only effective cleaning agent that can be used for FOG removal. Bacterial cleaners consume the fats, oils, and grease in the trap and convert them to carbon dioxide and water
- Grease Control Devices –
Grease control devices or Grease Interceptor (GI) are equipment that separate the solid waste from fats, oils, and grease (FOG) and collect this harmful oily waste in a separate tank, thus preventing toxic products entering the main sewer system or septic tank. There are several types of GI available in the market – Gravity Grease Interceptors (GGI), Hydro-Mechanical Grease Interceptor (HGI), Large HGI, and Automatic Grease Removal Devices (AGRD).
- Minimal or Zero Discharge of FOG –
The most efficient way to prevent discharge of FOG into wastewater collection systems and ultimately water bodies, is to prevent it from entering the collection system! Although this may seem nearly impossible but can be achieved by implementing the following steps:
- Used oil should not be disposed in drain
- Garbage disposal grinders should not be used
- All leftovers should be disposed-off in trash can before loading in dishwasher
- Restaurant employees should be trained on BMP for FOG disposal and removal
SMARTPIPE SYSTEM – Biotroop BL -20
The Biotroop BL-20 is a bacteriological/microbial based disinfectant. The all natural Biotroop BL-20 liquid solution is dosed into the pipe network via programmable Smart Pipe dosing pumps, preferably overnight. Overnight, bacteria put into a pipe can become a huge army of bacteria as soon as they are “activated”. These bacteria will eat most of the organic matter found on the pipe walls. The Biotroop BL-20 product is completely organic and non-pathogenic, thus environmentally friendly. The species used in this product are “Class 1” category i.e., lowest risk category according to international classification schemes. They are also non-hazardous according to Council Directive 2000/54/EC. The Biotroop BL-20 is predominantly used for FOG issues in restaurants, but SmartPipe System has clients across different industries such as cruise lines, real estate operators, shopping malls, water, and wastewater treatment facilities.
- Jameel, A. T., Muyubi, S. A., Karim, M. I. A., & Alam, M. Z. (2011). Removal of oil and grease as emerging pollutants of concern (EPC) in wastewater stream. IIUM Engineering Journal, 12(4).
- Husain, I. A., Ma, A. F. A., Jammi, M. S., Mirghani, M. E., Zainudin, Z. B., & Hoda, A. (2014). Problems, control, and treatment of fat, oil, and grease (FOG): a review. Journal of oleo science, ess13182.