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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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Hydrogen Sulfide: The Bad Smell That’s So Much Worse For Your Business

As if running a business isn’t challenging enough in the current economic climate, an invisible fallout from the pandemic may be lurking in the pipes beneath hotels and restaurants. And it really stinks. 

That offensive rotten-egg smell signals the presence of hydrogen sulfide creeping up from the grease interceptor into your business. During the pandemic, we’ve had calls from clients asking about the smell, and their stories offer a helpful heads-up for all of us. 

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New drawings place Trapzilla in vehicle traffic areas

Delivery truckWhat is your plan when a city official, contractor, or engineer says a 1,000-gallon grease interceptor must be installed in your drive-through, parking lot, or another area where vehicles will be driving over it every day? 

Trying to comply with local codes and regulations shouldn’t be difficult. You shouldn’t have to use all your resources to engineer, install, and maintain a grease trap. It should be easier and more affordable. 

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How commercial kitchens can manage grease from rotisserie ovens

rotisserie chickens in ovenRotisserie chicken ovens have been steadily gaining popularity in commercial kitchens since 1985, when Boston Market first introduced them to the restaurant industry. Today, more than 750 million rotisserie chickens are sold every year in grocery stores, club stores and food-service outlets.

While the slow-cooked birds are a smart choice for retailers, the grease they generate can present a challenge for commercial kitchen owners and for municipal water treatment systems.

What options do kitchen operators have to ensure they still comply with municipal pretreatment and plumbing codes?

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How grease interceptors can reduce greenhouse gases


earth from outer spaceCommercial kitchen operators already know the benefits of using grease interceptors to capture used oil and grease -- cleaner sewage systems, reduced costs for wastewater treatment plants and fewer fines from municipalities.

Plus, you can protect your facility's interior plumbing and make a little extra money selling used cooking oil to recyclers.

But did you know that by capturing all that grease you're also helping cut greenhouse gas emissions?

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How a simple kitchen device protects waterways and sewer systems

Food in sinkWhen it comes to disposing of food waste, which works best for commercial kitchens and our waterways – garbage disposals or strainers?

At first glance, a garbage disposal might seem like the easiest choice – just flip a switch and the food is gone. No scraps to throw away. What could be simpler? Plus, you keep waste out of the landfill.

However, food scraps that enter the wastewater treatment system can cause problems with our municipal sewer systems. 

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Why steel grease traps fail

Grease trapGrease interceptors have different weaknesses and points of failure depending on what they’re made of. Those materials affect how durable a particular grease trap is, and often affect how it’s designed. Design choices, in turn, also affect the reliability and durability of a grease trap.

If concrete and fiberglass have problems, it seems as though it might make sense to use something stronger to construct the grease interceptor. Something like steel. But steel grease traps come with their own problems, and often have very short lifespans compared to other options.

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Why fiberglass grease traps fail

Since concrete has so problems with corrosion, a substance such as fiberglass, which doesn’t have those problems, might seem to be a better choice. While fiberglass doesn’t experience the corrosion problems that steel and concrete grease traps do, it has some other challenges.

Fiberglass' rigidity and the use of other materials for inlet and outlet connections can create problems.

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