The sewer systems in cities around the world are facing a crisis. A fat, oil and grease crisis. Colloquially known as FOG, it’s damming up sewer lines and costing municipalities millions to manage. Pipes are breaking, drains are backing up and untreated sewage is finding its way into water systems and basements.
Reducing and eliminating the presence of FOG in food industry wastewater has become a mandate of most municipalities, and Grease Interceptor technologies have become the means to a solution. This is where plumbers, contractors and specifiers all play an important role in the long-term viability of our sewer systems and the health of our waterways.
Generally, Grease Interceptors come in two types of technologies; the Gravity Grease Interceptor (GGI) and the newer Hydromechanical Grease Interceptor (HGI). Both of these technologies use gravity to separate grease from wastewater – the grease rising to the top for removal.
The advancement of the HGI has exposed some of the shortcomings of the more traditional GGI. GGI is a technology that has been around since the late 1800s and uses a passive method to separate grease from wastewater. FOG-filled wastewater flows freely into the GGI and is slowed as it enters a reservoir chamber. The units are large and are generally made of concrete which is susceptible to microbial corrosion (MIC). This results in structural failure and untreated wastewater seeping into groundwater.
HGIs have been designed to be much easier to manage. Their smaller size enables them to be installed and maintained both inside and outside the building. This makes routine maintenance much easier and safer. And, despite their size, they are far more efficient at handling FOG than a GGI. A 1000 gallon GGI holds the same amount of FOG as a 250 gallon (100 gallon-per-minute) HGI. The major difference between the two is their water-to-grease capacity. Most municipalities require a GGI to be emptied when it reaches 25% grease, while an HGI’s grease content can be as high as 75%. This is because HGIs are certified by third party laboratories to maintain high separation efficiency even under these grueling conditions.
The HGIs developed by Endura® Grease management are the first in North America to be made with thermoplastic injection molding. Not only does this make them lightweight, their seamless design greatly reduces the potential for leaks and makes them easier to maintain. Thermoplastic is also less susceptible to corrosion. This durability means they are capable of withstanding wear and tear or decay over a long lifetime, far exceeding their metal and concrete competition.
The need to greatly reduce the presences of FOG in our wastewater is almost universally recognized. The mandates set by local building codes now require it as well. Fortunately, the development of HGIs has made wastewater and grease management an efficient and cost-effective proposition. Installation and maintenance are far easier than its GGI-predecessor – and, most importantly, the FOG-separating performance is exceptional.