Grease Trap Odors

Grease Trap Odors

Running a food service kitchen or a restaurant is not only about managing your workforce and getting gastronomic treats to your guests. You will also have to handle the uglier side of the business – dealing with grease trap odors. Grease trap odor is one of the banes that you’d encounter when you have huge amounts of oil from the deep-fryer and grease in the waste-water. Once you pour it down the drain, it passes through a plumbing device called a grease trap which intercepts fats, oil, and grease (FOGs) before flowing to the sewerage system.

Although grease traps are integral in preventing sewer blockages and spillage of untreated sewer water in surrounding areas it can also pose one of the most common problems of restaurant operations – grease trap odors. What is causing these odors and what are the possible adverse effects if left untreated? What are the possible solutions that can effective eradicate the nauseating smell? Here are some essential bits of information that will help you understand the problem of grease trap odors and how you can properly manage it.

Cause and Consequences

Aside from the production of a rancid smell during the slow anaerobic digestion process of used fats, oils, and grease, the primary cause of grease trap odor is the decomposition of organic wastes that goes through the system. In the process of diverting FOGs, some food particles and organic solids are trapped in the grease interceptor, eventually settling to the bottom of the tank. When these solids are broken down by microorganisms, they emit toxic wastes such as sulfuric gases and hydrogen sulphide. The sulfuric gases account for the “rotten” smell produced but the worse thing is, the interaction of hydrogen sulphide and water can produce a strong acid that will attack the steel and concrete composition of the tank. Aside from being utterly unsanitary, can you imagine the dire consequences of a brown grease spillage to your health and business?  It is, thus, of utmost importance to act immediate. Do not wait for the problem to escalate into a total “rot out.”


When you have a grease tank odor issue, you have to exercise due diligence in finding the most appropriate solution. It is a fact that not all treatments are created equal. While some solutions can dissipate the smell and treat the brown grease, some can adversely interact with the chemical components of the scum and damage your tank even more. Make a keen assessment on the source of the problem and engage the services of plumbing experts who can get the job done in no time. Typical strategies employed by professionals include pumping the trap out, cleaning the walls with a high pressure washing, and the use of all natural odor control products. Whatever may be the course of action you’d take, make sure that you are going for solution that gives you the best value for your money while eradicating the problem completely.