Grease Regulations in Your Zip Code
Access to clean water should be a fundamental concern for everybody. When sewer lines become contaminated with fats, oil and grease (FOG), waste becomes a big problem for the entire community. Even with residential septic tanks, failure to maintain FOG compliance will prove to be hazardous to the public because contaminants can enter groundwater. Everyone suffers when careless individuals do not take necessary precautions to protect drinking water. This is why states must set forth grease regulations and enforce wastewater maintenance.
If you own a grease-generating business, you need to have a grease trap installed. These are box-shaped contraptions that attach to drains. When wastewater enters the trap, the FOG is captured inside through a separation process aided by baffles and filters. Due to the complexity of a grease interceptor, you will need to hire a licensed company to install it. This ensures it will work properly, and a licensed plumber will be able to recommend the correct size for your establishment. Once installed, it is your responsibility to maintain the cleanliness and efficiency of your trap. Again, this requires the help of a professional waste management company who will routinely pump out the built up FOG. You should check laws in your zip code to see how often you need to have this service performed.
States have an obligation to protect their citizens so they may send inspectors to your business to check compliance. The inspector will measure the amount of FOG escaping into water outlets, and if it exceeds regulations, you will pay expensive penalties. You can also face substantial fines if your trap is the wrong size, was installed incorrectly, has not been pumped or is not operating correctly. Worst-case scenario, your business could be shut down. However, an even more tragic scenario would be contamination to the public water supply. Think about that the next time you ponder skipping your scheduled maintenance.
Stay Compliant with Kline’s
With over 50 years of experience in waste management, Kline’s has installed, cleaned and maintained every type of grease interceptor for every kind of business. Our goal is to keep up with all liquid waste issues so you can avoid penalties and focus on running your business. Contact Us if you have questions about grease regulations in your area or to schedule any of our grease trap services.
How Our Team is Trained to Deal with Confined Spaces
The safety of our employees is a huge priority at Kline’s, and the subject of confined space entry (CSE) is taken very seriously. Our technicians are placed in potentially life-threatening scenarios, so it’s important that they be well-trained and prepared for working in these small environments.
In case you’re unfamiliar with CSE, OSHA defines confined space as an area that has one or more of the following characteristics:
- Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
- Contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
- Has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
- Contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress
To qualify as the entrant in a CSE job, a technician must:
- Be knowledgeable of space hazards, including information on the means of exposure such as inhalation or dermal absorption, signs of symptoms and consequences of the exposure
- Use personal protective equipment properly
- Maintain communication with team members as necessary to enable them to monitor his status
- Exit from the confined space as soon as possible when:
- Ordered by the authorized person
- He or she recognizes the warning signs or symptoms of exposure
- A prohibited condition exists
- An automatic alarm is activated
- Alert team members when a prohibited condition exists or when warning signs or symptoms of exposure exist.
Working in Tight Conditions
We encounter confined spaces when working in tanks, pump chambers, manholes, or indirect waste pits. To ensure the safety of all involved, we only allow technicians with CSE licenses to work on these types of jobs. Furthermore, we require more than one licensed technician skilled in CSE be present to work collaboratively in these risky situations. So that Kline’s can accommodate the needs of our large customer base, we staff our crew with plenty of technicians carrying CSE licenses. With our well-equipped workforce, we carry the experience and manpower needed to safely get any job done. To have us evaluate your CSE project, Contact Us.
The Strangest Things We’ve Found in Grease Traps
We see some crazy things in the septic business, and some of the strangest appear in grease traps. Your grease trap has the important job of preventing fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from clogging up your drain lines and septic system. However, it’s amazing that items other than FOG end up in there. I’m talking about hairnets, rubber gloves, Brillo pads, you name it! We have even pulled a knife out of a grease trap before!
When these things end up in your trap, it malfunctions and results in messy backups and foul odors. Therefore, it’s important to keep up with the maintenance of your trap to avoid these issues and to stay compliant with health regulations. A simple and effective way to keep foreign objects out of your grease trap is by putting strainers in your sink. Strainers are inexpensive, and they are great at stopping food or other solid materials from flowing down the drain and into your trap.
Keep the Strange Stuff Out
Even with strainers, you still need a professional to completely clean out your grease trap on a regular basis. Kline’s employs a thorough 14-point inspection process that includes completely removing and cleaning baffles and draining out the dirty water. Watch out for companies that merely skim the grease off the top and do nothing to ensure the rest of the trap is equipped to perform well. Contact Us if you’d like for our guys to evaluate your wastewater use and design a customized grease trap maintenance plan to maximize the productivity of your kitchen.
Why Regular Cleaning is the Only Way to Avoid Replacing Your Grease Trap
Businesses in the food service industry are required to install and maintain grease traps. Unfortunately, business owners are not always diligent about the maintenance part. We understand it is an expense and other priorities get in the way, but you may not realize it is actually a larger expense to neglect having it serviced. Here are some reasons why regular cleaning should be a priority.
This is one that will affect your bottom line, so you’ll want to pay attention to this one. When you fail to clean your grease trap, the common results are backups and foul odors. A busy kitchen cannot function without unobstructed water flow, and think of the customers you’d lose when they smell sewage odors coming from the kitchen. You’ll quickly learn that the cost of repairs is higher than the cost of preventative maintenance. Depending on the severity, you could also suffer serious downtime if you’re required to close your doors while repairs are made.
Prolong the Life of the Trap
Consistent maintenance extends the life of your equipment. When a machine is properly cared for, it doesn’t have to work as hard to perform efficiently. This means you won’t have to purchase a new one as often. Trust us when we tell you preventative maintenance is always more affordable than replacements.
The Environment Matters
The Board of Health has the right to shut your business down if you pose a hazard to the environment, the general public or your employees. A corrupted grease trap has the potential to be very dangerous to all of these. FOG (fats, oils, and grease) contaminates wastewater which enters groundwater or public drinking water, making it unsafe to drink. State and local regulations can also charge hefty fines when you violate laws regarding grease trap maintenance. Take responsibility for your business so no one has to suffer for your negligence.
Keep It Clean
By applying routine maintenance to your grease trap, you can avoid wastewater issues and help your trap live a long, healthy life. Kline’s employs 14-point inspection criteria when cleaning your grease trap so you can be sure the job is done thoroughly. We can also keep track of when your equipment is due for its next service, so you can focus on other aspects of your business. We know you’ll be less stressed knowing your septic system and grease trap are in good hands and not at risk of clogging or health violations. Contact Kline’s or Request Grease Trap Cleaning Service today.
May’s Messiest Drain Award
Imagine the surprise when an alarm was going off in a local grocery store, and no one could figure out where it was coming from. It wasn’t the security system or the smoke alarm, so the staff called us for help when they finally gave up trying to find the source. We sent one of our technicians right away to investigate.
He discovered the alarm was connected to their indirect waste pit which was almost full, so he called a crew to come and pump out the pit. While working, the guys noticed the outlet line was also clogged with heavy debris and needed to be cleaned out. This required the services of our confined space entry team who was able to safely enter the pit and use the jetter to clear the outlet pipe.
Thankfully, the Kline’s team is capable of performing a variety of services, so these three tasks could be handled quickly by a single company. The manager of the store was grateful for our expertise and ability to prevent a potential disaster. We’d love to do the same for you. To learn more about our wastewater services or to schedule an appointment, Contact Us.
How Long Do Ejector Pumps Last?
If your bathrooms are below your main sewer pipe, you may have sewage ejector pumps in your home or basement. These pumps move solid waste from your toilets and sinks to a point in your plumbing system where gravity can take over. This is achieved using powerful water jets that break up the waste and then force it up and into your septic tank or sewage system. A good sewage ejector pump should last at least 7-10 years. However, with proper installation and routine care, your pump can last 30 years or more.
A common reason people need to replace their sewage ejector pumps is due to faulty installation where plumbers cut corners or used the wrong sized pumps. However, the licensed technicians at Kline’s will determine the correct sewage ejector pump you’ll need and will install it right the first time. As far as maintenance goes, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. First, make sure you throw trash in the trash. Things like feminine products should not be flushed down the toilet because these items harm your pump. Secondly, you need to conduct yearly professional maintenance where one of our guys comes and cleans out the junk you cannot reach deep down in your system. Don’t wait for emergency situations to arise, allow Kline’s to handle all things related to your ejector pumps. Contact Us or Request Service Now.
Are Your Grease Traps Compliant?
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requires certain criteria from wastewater facilities like septic tanks and grease traps. 310 CMR Compliance, for example, was developed to provide for the protection of public health, safety, and the environment. Regulations vary from state to state, and sometimes town to town.
Most facilities are measured at a municipal level rather than following one state-wide regulation. For example, when it comes to the disposal of fats, oils, and grease, in Lancaster, PA, the DEP regulation states:
Grease traps shall be installed in accordance with Chapter 125, Sewer Construction. Each food service facility shall operate and maintain its grease traps in accordance with the following criteria:
(1) Examination, cleaning, and maintenance. Each food service facility shall be solely responsible for the cost of grease trap installation, examination, cleaning, and maintenance. Each food service facility shall contract with a grease hauler for cleaning services or it may develop a written protocol and perform its own grease trap cleaning and maintenance procedures. Cleaning and maintenance must be performed when the total volume of captured grease and solid material displaces more than 25% of the total volume of the grease trap. Each food service facility shall determine the frequency at which its grease trap shall be cleaned, but all grease traps shall be opened, examined, cleaned, and maintained at a minimum of once every 30 days.
This may be different from the requirements in another Pennsylvania town, so it’s important to be familiar with the regulations in your area. To learn more, contact the Department of Environmental Protection or the knowledgeable staff at Kline’s. We make it our business to keep our customers compliant with all local regulations, so you can rely on us to handle your wastewater facilities accordingly. Contact Us today.
What is Not Good to Pour Down the Drain?
The last thing you need is a septic emergency or a clogged drain caused by items that have no business in your wastewater system. We realize many of you are new to septic ownership and may not realize your daily habits can cause problems for your septic and plumbing. To help you out, we’ve compiled a quick list of items you should avoid washing down your drains.
- Trash – It is not meant for your septic system, so make sure you put things like paper towels, kitty litter, feminine products and food in the garbage.
- Toxic Cleaning Products – These are harmful to the natural workings of your septic system because they kill the good bacteria required to break down wastes. Use organic cleaning products instead.
- Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) – Avoid pouring these down your drains because they harden and stick to your inner pipe walls causing clogs.
- Food – No food particles should go down your drain, so make sure to scrape plates into the trash or feed leftovers to a pet.
- Thick or Sugary Liquids – Substances like molasses are bad for your drains due to their tendency to stick to plumbing and cause obstructions.
Don’t Forget Preventative Maintenance
Along with taking responsibility for what goes down your drains, you also need to invest in preventative maintenance. This includes regular septic pumping every 2-5 years, and one of our professional technicians can evaluate your household use and tank’s capacity to give you the ideal servicing frequency. If you own a business, you may be required by law to have this done, so be familiar with local regulations and make sure your business is compliant. Other measures include drain cleaning, use of additives and periodic inspections. To get started on a customized maintenance plan, Contact Kline’s today.
How is Waste Management for Large Weather Events Handled?
When weather-related disasters strike, the community looks to us for help. After heavy storms, it’s not unusual for wastewater facilities to suffer from flooding and structural damage. Leach fields can lose their ability to absorb moisture due to all the excess water, and septic tanks can overflow. Storm waters also have a bad habit of carrying all kinds of trash and debris into catch basins, worsening a flood situation.
Kline’s to the Rescue!
Thanks to our state-of-the-art fleet, we can easily handle the mayhem left from destructive weather. Hy Vac trucks, pump trailers and support equipment combined with a team of quick and experienced professionals are the ultimate solutions for cleaning up after large weather events. By adding attachments to our vactor trucks, Kline’s technicians can quickly remove leaves and garbage from deep within catch basins. Our vehicles have even been used to assist with catastrophes such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012, where hy vac trucks were instrumental in cleaning up flood waters and removing debris from dangerous areas.
After the Storm
Vactoring will get a big job done quickly and efficiently while reducing overall labor costs. Let us help you get your business and community back to normal after bad weather hits. We don’t just handle storm recovery, of course. We act as a reliable sole service provider for all your wastewater needs. Sanitary community sewage and septic facilities support a healthy environment and even help to decontaminate the air you breathe. If these April showers are causing trouble, contact the experts at Kline’s and we’ll get things cleaned up and running smoothly.
How Often Should Your Inside Grease Trap Be Serviced?
We get this question a lot, and there is actually a quick and easy legal answer. Unfortunately, the legal answer may not be the answer you need, so we are going to delve a little deeper. When it comes to your grease trap, you do not want to take its maintenance lightly. Irresponsibility in this area can result in expensive repairs or even cause health hazards that can shut down your business. Read on to find out our 3 ways of answering this common question.
Check Legal Regulations
Your local Board of Health generally mandates how often servicing should be done. Some towns require quarterly maintenance while others allow pumping service on an as-needed basis. You’ll need to check the regulations in your area and stay compliant to avoid any penalties. So there’s your quick and easy answer.
Check the FOG
If you want a technical answer, we have determined it is best to clean your grease trap before FOG (Fat, Oil, and Grease) makes up a quarter of the trap’s contents. If you wait for FOG to accumulate more than this, you risk clogging and backups. You’ll need a professional to properly remove the cover and measure this if you’re unsure.
Check with the Experts
Legal requirements are generally designed for the average scenario. Your business may or may not fall into that category, and your trap may need more or less attention. Our best recommendation is to have a reliable professional evaluate the size of your grease trap, determine your water use, and measure the accumulated FOG. These clues will help him determine an ideal maintenance schedule. Be selective when choosing a service provider by asking good questions. Do they fully pump the trap, scrape the trap walls, remove the baffles, and get rid of the old water? Failure to do all these things will leave grease stuck to the trap walls eroding the grease trap itself. Kline’s follows a 14-step inspection process for grease trap services making sure the job is done correctly and completely. If you would like to have your equipment properly serviced or evaluated for a regular maintenance plan, Contact Us or Request Service Now.