Grease traps: Helping restaurant owners protect their property, business, public health and the environment.
As a restaurant owner or employee, you have many responsibilities – one of them is to do your part to help maintain the sewer system.
The City of Toronto Sewers Bylaw, Municipal Code, Chapter 681, requires all commercial, industrial and institutional food facilities to dispose of fats, oils, and grease properly and to install and maintain a proper interceptor (also known as a “grease trap”) on appropriate plumbing fixtures.
- A grease trap, or grease interceptor, is a plumbing device designed to "trap" and prevent grease from entering the sewer system and causing sewer pipe blockages.
- A grease trap should be connected to any fixture or drain that discharges wastewater containing oil and grease to the grease trap, including, sinks for washing dishes, floor drains, dishwashers, drains serving self-cleaning exhaust hoods and cooking equipment.
- Wastewater enters the grease trap.
- The water cools and the grease and oil harden and float to the top of the trap.
- The rest of the wastewater flows through the trap and out the exit pipe to the sanitary sewer.
- The grease, oil and fat remain in the trap.
- For the best operation, the grease trap should be cleaned regularly and serviced at least once every four (4) weeks, see here for more information on the requirements.
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- When warm fats, oils, and grease make their way into the plumbing system, over time they build up and cause a number of problems, including blocked sewers.
- Blocked sewers can lead to a sewage backup into your business, neighbouring property or even local rivers.
- Blocked sewers can also lead to increased vermin and contact with disease-causing organisms, all of which pose serious health risks to anyone working in or visiting the restaurant.
- Issues caused by blocked sewers could ultimately lead to a temporary or permanent closure of the restaurant by Toronto Public Health.
- Any costs incurred by the City as a result of a grease-blocked sewer or damage to the sewers will be charged back to those responsible.
- Train all staff in proper waste management.
- Start a grease trap cleaning log.
- Prevent solid foods such as leftovers and coffee grounds from entering the drain.
- Place a strainer on all sink drains.
- Remove all solid grease build-ups from processing equipment.
- Collect excess grill and frying grease and put it into the waste grease bin for recycling.
- Clean up grease spills using an absorbent material (e.g. cat litter) and place it in the dry garbage bin.
- Connect any fixture or drain that discharges wastewater containing oil and grease to the grease trap, including floor drains, sinks for washing dishes, drains serving self-cleaning exhaust hoods and cooking equipment.
- Consider connecting a dishwasher to its own grease trap.
- Do not use hot water or other methods that would facilitate the passage of oil and grease through a grease trap.
- Do not put garbage that has been through a grinder down a drain; in addition to grease problems, it may cause your waste levels to be high and violate the Sewers Bylaw.
- Do not connect food processors, toilets, urinals and hand sinks to a grease trap.
- Do not put anything into the storm sewer outside (the storm sewer is the square grate on the side of the road). Storm sewers empty to the nearest creek, river or lake and are meant only for rainwater or melted snow.
City of Toronto Sewers Bylaw, municipal code, chapter 681, basic requirements and information for restaurants
- Install and maintain a grease trap
|Substance||Limit (mg/L) (maximum level allowed in the grease trap)||How to help minimize|
|Oil and grease (animal and vegetable||150||Maintain the grease trap|
|Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)||300||Prevent solids from entering the drain|
|Suspended Solids||350||Prevent solids from entering the drain|
- Effluent (waste matter) from garbage grinders must comply with the 681-2 (sanitary limits).
- Conviction can result in a fine of up to $50,000 for a first offence. In the case of a continuing offence, conviction can result in a fine of not more than $10,000 for each day the offence continues.
Click here for the full bylaw.
For more information, call 311.Back to top