Grease enters municipal wastewater treatment plants from multiple sources including restaurants, households, and light industrial customers. The fats, oils & grease (FOG) cause problems from the source point all the way down to the outfall of the sewage treatment plant. Each impact is detailed below
Upon allowing grease to enter a drain, the grease begins to accumulate on drain lines. With severe buildup, grease can clog the line causing backups and slow drains. Even with moderate grease accumulation, the restaurants will have problems with odors and drain flies which breed on the grease in the lines. Without proper grease trap maintenance, go the store will have exterior odors and experience excessive grease carryover into municipal sewer lines.
As with the restaurant drain lines, grease accumulates on sewer pipes causing problems with sulfides (H2S), corrosion, and blockages. Grease blockages are the most common cause of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO). Problematic sections of sewer lines require frequent jetting and chemical usage to push grease down stream. One problem with pushing the grease down stream is the lift station also have problems with grease damaging equipment, generating H2S, and other odorous compounds.
Wastewater Treatment Plant
At the wastewater treatment plant, the grease is a problem as it is more difficult to biologically degrade than other common components of municipal sewage. The grease impact can include: (1) excessive foaming, (2) problem with Nocardia filaments, (3) increased sludge volume, and (4) high effluent FOG, BOD5 & TSS.
Erik Rumbaugh has been involved in biological waste treatment for over 20 years. He has worked with industrial and municipal wastewater facilities to ensure optimal performance of their treatment systems. He is a founder of Aster Bio (www.asterbio.com) specializing in biological waste treatment.
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