Managing wastewater in a restaurant kitchen isn’t as simple as turning on the tap and waving “bye bye” to whatever flows down the drain.

That’s because the grease and food particles that are part and parcel of a restaurant’s waste are a powerful double whammy that, if not properly disposed of, create a sticky sludge that can clog your pipes and damage your septic bed. (In fact, the Wall Street Journal once estimated that grease in the sewer system had clogged fully 75% of pipes in the US to half capacity!)

Whether you’re on a municipal water supply or hooked up to a septic system, managing your wastewater appropriately is vitally important to keeping your water system humming along effectively. Fail to dispose of waste water appropriately and you run the risk of clogged pipes, unpleasant odours and higher water bills.

Got the point? Follow our tips to make sure your wastewater isn’t going to cause you headaches. (Nicely, a couple of these tips will help you save water and electricity as well.)

  • Rinsing high-fat sauces down the drain can cause them to solidify inside pipes, so train staff to thoroughly scrape all dishes into a solid waste disposal container before rinsing them. Take special care to eliminate salad dressings, creamy sauces, gravies and other high-fat leftovers.
  • Consider installing a grease skimmer, which will collect and trap grease from wastewater before it leaves the building.
  • Practicing good water conservation strategies—only running the dishwasher when full, using low-flow spray valves, and sweeping floors instead of spraying—will avoid water surges in your pipes, which in turn will ensure that grease doesn’t get swept through your grease trap.
  • Using a lower-temperature rinse cycle in your dishwasher will save you energy, and can also prevent oil from emulsifying, making it easier to trap.
  • Use cleaning chemicals that promote oil/water separation—but don’t use too much. Excess chemicals can cause oil to emulsify and make it hard to trap.

Have you experienced problems with your wastewater? Have you introduced steps to make the process more green? Share your stories in the comments section.

Image credit: cdsessums