What Are the Consequences When a Grease Interceptor Overflows?

Each year, more than 4 billion pounds of inedible waste grease is created by food service businesses. Grease interceptors are a crucial component of any commercial kitchen operation, as this piece of equipment ensures that solids as well as fats, oils, and greases (FOGs) are prevented from entering your wastewater stream and then the municipal wastewater supply. Unfortunately, when something goes wrong and your grease interceptor overflows, it can lead to disastrous consequences for both the environment as well as the business owner, who may face stiff fines and penalties from the MDE. Learn more, below.


Grease interceptor overflows are caused by clogged pipes like this.

What Are the Consequences When a Grease Interceptor Overflows?

Environmental consequences

Grease interceptors are regulated by the Maryland Department of the Environment’s wastewater program because when FOGs are allowed to enter the wastewater supply, they can cause disastrous consequences. As grease hardens, it accumulates in city sewer mains which can quickly lead to a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO). When this happens, the grease prevents proper oxygen flow in local waterways which leads to massive fish die-offs and other major environmental concerns.

Public health consequences

Grease is a serious detriment to public health. Because it does not decompose easily, waste grease quickly attracts flies and vermin and harbors harmful bacteria. It is also a highly flammable material, creating a danger of grease fires wherever it is present.

Business consequences

Because of the negative impacts that can be caused when grease is allowed to enter wastewater streams, MDE takes proper grease disposal very seriously. Improper grease disposal can lead to a citation that carries a fine of $1000 or more, so it is important to manage your waste grease appropriately and to regularly clean your grease trap in order to avoid an overflow.

Schedule regular maintenance to prevent grease interceptors from overflowing

Any grease interceptor that is not cleaned regularly will clog sooner or later, so it is important to schedule routine preventative maintenance to ensure that your grease interceptor continues to do its job correctly and within proper environmental guidelines. Our service division has the knowledge and expertise needed to ensure that your grease interceptor meets all state wastewater standards.


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