What’s the Difference Between a Grease Trap and an Oil Interceptor?

It’s vital that we are as vigilant as possible about how we dispose of the by-products that are created as a result of our day-to-day industrial and commercial activities. Careless handling of these waste materials can lead to all kinds of serious issues, whether that’s to our environment, the drainage systems that take away our wastewater or public health. 

Two of the key tools we have at our disposal in the fight against this kind of pollution are the grease trap and the oil interceptor. On the face of it they have a lot in common, in that they have both been designed to prevent specific pollutants contaminating our environment, and go about it in a very similar way. 

This article will take a look at the two pieces of machinery, see where they are used and what potential pollutants they have each been designed to combat.

Grease traps

Grease traps are designed for use in commercial kitchens, and are usually located beneath kitchen sinks and before the drainage system. As water that contains fats, oils and grease is emptied down a kitchen sink, it flows into the grease trap where the fats eventually harden. 

Because the hardened fats float on water, the two elements that have been captured can be easily separated, allowing the water to be safely emptied into the drains. The hardened fats are then regularly cleaned out and disposed of in an approved and environmentally-friendly way.

Without the intervention of the grease trap, those hardened fats would enter the drains and almost certainly cause serious blockages. This is a very common cause of the blocked sinks many of us experience in our kitchens at home when dealing with comparatively small amounts of fats. With the much larger quantities handled by large commercial kitchens, the damage to our sewer systems could be severe.  

Oil interceptors

An oil interceptor works in almost exactly the same way as a grease trap. However, instead of capturing kitchen fats, it captures the oil, petrol and diesel that finds its way onto the floors of garages, car parks, transport depots and other places where vehicles are serviced or stored.

When it rains on outdoor surfaces, or if any surface is washed down with water, the water and the contaminant are washed into the oil interceptor. Like the hardened kitchen fats we discussed earlier, the oil floats on the water, so once it’s in the interceptor, it becomes easy to separate the two and prevent the oil, petrol or diesel entering the environment.

Otherwise, untold damage would be inflicted on our water sources, wildlife, plants, fruit and vegetables, and ultimately ourselves.

Grease trap & oil interceptor cleaning and maintenance

At AA Turner Tankers, we’re specialists at ensuring your grease traps and oil interceptors in and around Colchester, Chelmsford and Ipswich are working effectively to prevent these contaminants going where they shouldn’t. Our licensed technicians can carry out one-off or regular scheduled cleaning and maintenance services that will remove any accumulated waste. This will allow your business to continue safely without the worry of accidental and potentially costly pollution incidents.  

For more information, or to arrange a visit from one of our professional and experienced engineers, get in touch with the team at AA Turner Tankers today.