The Splash

Fat, Oil and Grease Caps, Oh My!

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG’s) can dramatically reduce efficiency, while increasing the operational costs of your wastewater treatment system. Food processing facilities often experience build-up of grease deposits or caps in their lift stations and piping. Below we have highlighted some possible system impacts of leaving FOG’s untreated and solutions to ensure optimal system operation.

Potential Impact FOG’s Have on Your System

  • FOG build-up can require the need to clean facility piping (hydrojet) to ensure water is moving efficiently. Estimated cost for cleaning $75/hr.
  • Accumulation of FOG in lift stations or collection pits may need to be removed to restore treatment capacity. Estimated cost of pump out $100 -$150/hr.
  • Disposal of collected FOG’s can be a one-time fee, up to $500, or an annual service fee for scheduled removal, with price ranges varying.
  • Failure to treat FOG’s in your lift station or piping can result in odors as FOG’s breakdown. These odors can lead to consumer complaints causing loss of goodwill and the incurred cost for odor control treatment.
  • If left untreated, FOG’s can increase the need for repairs or replacement of equipment, while escalating degradation of existing system infrastructure.
  • Possibility of a Notice of Violation (NOV) for lack of compliance can occur, which may negatively impact corporate image.

Potential Solutions to Protect and Maintain Your System

  • Removal of FOG’s in the production stage can prevent the need to treat downstream.
  • Evaluate your cleaning and sanitation preventative maintenance program to mitigate impact of FOG’s on your wastewater treatment system.
  • The implementation of a biological program is an effective method used to remove  FOG’s.

The incorporation of any of these solutions will help reduce operational cost, as well as capital expenses your facility may be experiencing.  A comprehensive analysis into your treatment process with a water treatment expert is the best way to determine the level and type of solution that best meets your facility’s needs. U.S. Water can assist you with any impact grease caps and FOG’s are creating and what options will help optimize your system performance.

Stay tuned for our next article, Is Sludge Thickening Worth the Time and Effort? Contact us to Learn more about our Wastewater Treatment Programs or to schedule a system evaluation.