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Why Your Restaurant Needs a Grease Trap Preventative Maintenance Plan

grease trap
Grease trap maintenance is essential.

It is essential for restaurants to have a preventative maintenance plan in place for fat, oil, and grease (FOG). 

Any establishment using products containing FOG, including dairy, must have a grease trap or interceptor to prevent their discharge into wastewater systems.

A grease trap, a small device located in commercial kitchens, sits between the drains and the sanitary sewer lines. Due to the smaller size of an interior grease trap, more frequent maintenance is required. Its counterpart, an interceptor, is a larger exterior device placed between the drain and sanitary sewer lines. Proper maintenance of these devices is critical, with every jurisdiction mandating standards to avoid excessive FOG in the sewer system.

Economic and operational implications

Having the correct maintenance schedule in place for your grease traps and interceptors is vital for a restaurant’s financial and operational health. FOG build-ups due to poor maintenance can cause backups, foul odors, and overflows, all of which are potential health hazards and can lead to shutdowns.

The economic repercussions can be substantial, including fines and costly repairs to damaged lines and traps. To guard against these outcomes, a preventive maintenance pumping schedule, coupled with an annual hydro jetting service, is highly recommended for all restaurants.

Environmental benefits and resource optimization

A solid preventative maintenance plan is crucial for environmental conservation, resource optimization, and to ensure operational efficiency and avoid unnecessary costs.

Regularly pumped grease traps and interceptors can also yield somewhat pure FOG, a valuable recyclable resource. FOG can be repurposed to produce fertilizers, soaps, animal feed, and cosmetics. Unfortunately, many restaurants miss the opportunity to recycle FOG due to a lack of awareness or absence of a robust maintenance program. 

Partnering for sustainability

Partnering with companies like Rubicon, a leading provider of software-based waste, recycling, and fleet operations products for businesses and governments worldwide, can improve the effectiveness of maintenance programs, minimize unexpected operational hitches, and help ensure compliance with environmental standards. Such collaborations can also help restaurant operators avoid costly fines and realize the potential of recycling FOG.

Public perception and brand image

Maintaining a positive public image is crucial for any restaurant. A well-maintained and environmentally responsible restaurant is more likely receive positive reviews, which can translate to greater customer loyalty and increased patronage. Conversely, environmental degradation and poor maintenance may incur damage to an establishment’s reputation and result in a loss of customers.


Having a grease trap preventative maintenance plan will allow your restaurant to address economic, operational, and environmental concerns. Properly maintained traps and interceptors can prevent business disruptions and financial losses due to shutdowns and fines. Diligent FOG management promotes recycling and resource optimization, which in turn contributes to a more sustainable world.

Rubicon’s market-leading RUBICONConnect™ platform and technical advisory services make it easy to put such a plan in place whether you manage one restaurant or 1,000. Find out more at


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