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THIS COLUMN COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE

Long periods of inactivity hurt seals, fuel systems, and moving parts of most mechanical systems. That’s why many automobiles don’t like it.  Gas-powered lawn mowers and string trimmers don’t like it. Grease separators don’t like it either. 

 

The inactivity caused by pandemic shutdowns can make some grease interceptors more hazardous to your health. Let’s find out why by taking a closer look at what happens in separators with little or no input flows.

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It’s About Survival: How One of Asheboro’s Most Popular Gathering Places Is Handling the Pandemic

Since the pandemic began, Four Saints Brewing Company has been one of the most visible small businesses in our home base of Asheboro, NC. It has hosted virtual concerts, partnered with a food truck, and stepped up its social media presence to soften the blows it’s taken from state-mandated restrictions and shutdowns. 

 

Along the way, owner and CEO Joel McClosky has discovered his taproom’s unofficial status as the town’s “third place” has been both a blessing and a curse in the COVID era. 

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About Grease Separator Testing Methods:  North American and European Standards

Did you know the North American and European testing standards for certifying grease separators have nothing in common literally?

One is predominately a performance standard, a batch flow test simulating kitchen sink discharge. The other is mostly a design standard, a continuous flow test simulating floor drains receiving oily water flows. 

Both tests become more difficult to pass with higher flow rates. As a manufacturer, we respect the local codes and standards.  It is why we test our products to all applicable standards.

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A Two-Pronged Approach to Pretreatment Saved Lawrence & Memorial Hospital Thousands

Lawrence & Memorial HospitalHospitals and other health care facilities often operate extensive commercial kitchens. But unlike restaurants, hotels and other foodservice establishments, hospitals face additional cost-control, sanitation and operational challenges.

They have one or more commercial kitchens that may feed effluent into plumbing systems that run for hundreds or thousands of feet before exiting the building. 

Hospitals also operate on a 24/7 basis, requiring them to keep downtime to a minimum. They don’t close for holidays, and their kitchens must keep operating matter what.

These factors mean that hospitals face unique pretreatment challenges. Facility managers and engineers must carefully consider their pretreatment technology, or risk high-cost repairs and even breakdowns that could threaten the health of patients and workers.

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The Curious Case of the Smelly Blob

I’m not fond of unsolved mysteries. When a service contractor stumped us with a problem in the late 1990s, the issue nagged at me.

The contractor told us about gelatinous masses building up in a handful of grease separators. The masses smelled terrible, he said, and the separators had surprisingly low water input flows.

We tried figuring out what the gel was. We ran tests in our lab. We looked online. We consulted wastewater treatment professionals and scientists. We couldn’t come up with anything.

Whenever I thought about the gel, I kept picturing the monster from the 1958 cinematic classic, The Blob.

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The Science That Saved Septic Fields

Each state has its own unique environmental challenges and aims. You learn a lot by attending state conferences.

 

I recall a trip to the Florida Department of Health Conference in 1986 or 1987 when the buzz was about a growing set of research on extending lifespans of septic fields for rural food service establishments (restaurants, schools, other premises with commercial kitchens). This work remains vital to rural communities to this day.

 

Damann L. Anderson and his team at the University of Wisconsin in Madison were leaders in this area. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, they focused on the nutrient loading effect on septic field lifespans. Septic field failure occurs when a septic field no longer properly absorbs effluent. Instead, the water ponds at the surface, a public health hazard.

 

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Why Legionnaires’ Disease Is Suddenly A Very Real Problem and What You Can Do To Stop It

In September, health officials in a Canadian town just outside Vancouver scrambled to explain a rare cluster of Legionnaires' disease cases in its business district. The problem wasn’t as much a case of why it happened as much as where.

 

They knew why.

 

Like most cities and towns around the world, New Westminster shut down in the wake of the pandemic. When businesses resumed, water systems that laid dormant for months suddenly had water flowing through them. That was a problem. Stagnant water in the pipes bred Legionnaires’ disease-causing bacteria, which was suddenly spreading everywhere. But which building – or buildings – was it? Inspectors zeroed in on those with cooling towers, air conditioning units, and decorative water features.

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Guide for Ice Cream Parlors, Sweet Shops, Coffee Houses and Bakeries

We've received calls from operators of bakeries, ice cream parlors, sweet shops and coffee houses wondering why their Big Dipper automatic grease traps aren't collecting much grease. It's an easy answer. Your food operations don't produce much, if any, grease.

There are other more important things to be aware of, however. That's why we created this handy guide to help your Big Dipper work hard for your business. 

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