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How Have Grease Traps Improved Over the Years?

How Have Grease Traps Improved Over the Years?

Today, grease traps must be installed in all commercial food premises and have become relatively sophisticated bits of kit. However, this wasn’t always the case.

In this blog post, we’re going to look at the evolution of grease traps since their inception, tracing the story from comparatively crude beginnings to modern advancements, before looking at why you need one and whether maintenance is important.


The First Grease Trap

The history of grease traps dates back to the 19th century. In 1884, Nathaniel T. Whiting, a Californian, was issued the first patent for a grease trap. His design featured a large chamber, with an inlet with a separation baffle and an outlet. As water rich with fats, oils and grease (FOG) entered the chamber, it was slowed by the baffle, allowing the FOG to separate and collect in the trap before the cleaner water then left the trap, heading for the sewer network.

This simple but effective design was soon adopted the world over.


Modern Grease Traps

Many modern grease traps still use Whiting’s design as their basis, but now come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes to suit a breadth of needs. Additionally, many modern traps are automatic and able to separate and store FOG away from their main chambers, extending maintenance intervals and providing more effective trapping.

One of the other primary innovations that’s come with time is the inclusion of smart sensors, allowing for remote monitoring and performance tracking.


Why You Need a Grease Trap in the UK

Today, grease trap installation is required by law in the UK for commercial food premises under Section H of the Building Regulations 2010, the Water Industry Act 1991 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Operating without a grease trap puts you in violation of these regulations, and also risks your drains becoming a health hazard as well as developing unpleasant, very non-customer-friendly smells.

Is Grease Trap Maintenance Still as Important?

With all the advancements in grease trap technology, including automation and smart systems, you might be beginning to wonder whether maintenance is still as important as it once was.

The answer is categorically yes, maintenance is still as important as it ever was. In fact, you could argue that modern legal pressures have made it more important today than it was when Whiting received his patent.

The difference is found in the length of maintenance intervals, which are now typically much longer than they were in the 19th century. Automatic systems can self-service to an extent, and grease dosing systems help keep traps and pipes cleaner, but still require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep you on the right side of the law and save you from significant fines.


Aqua Mundus: Experts in Grease Trap Installation and Maintenance

At Aqua Mundus, we specialise in the supply, installation and long-term maintenance of some of the most advanced and effective grease traps available today.

To learn more about our product range or installation and maintenance services, just reach out to our friendly team today using our contact form, by calling 01386 832205 or by emailing

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