Residential grease trap maintenance


Treatment and removal of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from wastewater collection systems has been one of the most challenging problems of the 21st century with respect to wastewater treatment technologies and systems worldwide. In fact, FOG deposition is the primary cause of 40 to 50 percent of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) in the United States alone as of a study conducted in 2002. There has been a drastic shift in eating habits of the human population in the last few decades. Most of the processed food and food ingredients contain a high percentage of free fatty acids which result in a high percentage of FOG when these food items are cooked, and the leftovers are disposed-off. Wastewater containing FOG is usually at high temperatures but once it reaches the sewers, FOG cools down and accumulates to the pipe walls of the sewer main forming a thick scale. The organic matter in the continuously flowing wastewater also interacts with these scales and eventually causes blockage of pipes.

The growing awareness amongst people regarding the environment in general and regarding efficient waste management practices has resulted in homeowners to segregate their waste depending on whether it is for recycling, liquid trash, dry trash, yellow trash, etc. However, most people do not necessarily follow best management practices when it comes to disposal of fats, oil, and grease waste. It is common practice to dispose of FOG waste down the drain. This causes significant challenges to wastewater treatment systems that receive this waste from residential and commercial collection systems. Additionally, there are many single-family-residences that tend to opt for their individual/private wastewater treatment system or septic system on-site instead of sending the sewer to a common collection system. Residents that cook food often at home, especially large families normally produce large quantities of FOG wastewater. A Grease Trap/Interceptor is usually installed at such places to separate the solids from liquid FOG.

Most common types of residential wastewater systems include Gravity Septic Tanks and Pumping Septic Systems. These are not completely equipped to handle complex hydrocarbon compounds from FOG. It is therefore imperative to implement some best management practices to avoid overload of the residential septic tank system and thus preventing sanitary sewer overflows and associated health risks. This article provides a quick guidance for residential owners on some of the best management practices to maintain Grease Traps and thus reduce problems arising from Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) in their kitchen. It is part of a new venture by Sani Service on Bio Cleaning of Sewer Pipes. Saniservice is now an exclusive distributor 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”, Sani Service 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. 



Grease Traps or interceptors are devices that help segregate the solid waste from FOG and collect this harmful oily waste in a separate tank, thus preventing toxic products entering the main sewer system or septic tank. The type of grease trap primarily used for residential kitchens is called an Interior Grease Trap which is usually installed in the kitchen near the sink or dishwasher to accommodate smaller volumes of FOG generated by residences as compared to large volumes generated by restaurants for which exterior traps are used.

A study conducted by Vancouver Metro on “Estimating the Impact of Residential Disposal of Fats, Oil, and Grease on the Regional Wastewater System”, it was noted that around 138,388.64 tons of food was wasted by residents of Metro Vancouver every year, with 20,775.38 tons (15.02%) going ‘down the drain.’ Of this former amount, the study estimated that 1,019.14 tons is fat (i.e., 4.91% of the food disposed of through the sink, food grinder, and toilet), which indicated that residential food waste introduces 84.93 tons of fat into the regional wastewater system every month. This would be equivalent to each person pouring 1.13 g of FOG ‘down the drain’ every day of the year.





The Biotroop BL-20 is a microbial cleaning product from SmartPipe Systems for maintenance of sewage pumping stations, sewers, pipes, etc. The product is manufactured under standards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The microbial-based cleaning process is completely natural and environmentally friendly. Microbes activate and consume the organic waste and eliminate foul odors. Although the Biotrool BL-20 product is currently designed for larger applications such as restaurants and water treatment facilities, SmartPipe System is launching a miniature version of the dosing pump that can be utilized to prevent blockages in kitchen and washrooms in private houses.



  2. Keener, K. M., Ducoste, J. J., & Holt, L. M. (2008). Properties influencing fat, oil, and grease deposit formation. Water environment research80(12), 2241-2246.


Meet our Expert

Abhiram Satyadev has a Masters in Environmental Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an MBA at Goldey Beacom College in Delaware, and a Masters Certificate in Standford University. He is currently the Program Manager, Potomac Interceptor for the DC Water in Washington DC. He is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining the Potomac Interceptor Renewal Facility specifically including operation and maintenance of odor control facilities at the Potomac Interceptor Sites and Pump Stations.

With Saniwater, he serves as our Research and Development Consultant and provides us with insights into his expertise. Read his section here on to know more.