At Work - Commercial

Grease traps help owners of commercial, industrial and institutional food facilities protect their property, business, public health and the environment.

Grease traps/interceptors

Fats, oil and grease (FOG) are part of kitchens, there's no way around it. Drain and sewer blockages due to FOG accumulation result in costly sewer backups, facility closures, health hazards and possibly fines. As an owner or employee, you have many responsibilities - one of them is to do your part to help maintain the sewer system.

The City of Red Deer Utility Bylaw 3606/2018 (pdf) requires all commercial businesses and industrial and institutional food facilities to dispose of fats, oils and grease properly. These requirements apply to all forms of fats, oils and grease; not just deep fryer fats. Examples may also include dressings, sauces, soups, coffee creamers, ice cream, cooking oil and meat scraps.

Plumbing fixtures and a proper grease trap (also known as an interceptor) need to be installed, maintained and operated in an efficient manner at all times. Grease traps must be of a proper design and adequate size.

What is a grease trap?

  • A grease trap, or interceptor, is a plumbing device placed on kitchen cleaning fixtures. It collects fats, oils and grease that are washed off cooking appliances and kitchenware.

How does a grease trap work?

  • 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 fats, oils and grease separate 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 oil and fat remain in the trap.
  • Your grease trap is required to be cleaned and serviced regularly.

Why is a grease trap important?

  • When 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 food establishment.
  • Issues caused by blocked sewers could ultimately lead to a temporary or permanent closure of the food establishment.
  • 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.

Proper grease management


  • 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-up 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. Storm sewers empty to the nearest creek, river or lake and are meant only for rainwater or melted snow.

New and renovated kitchens

If you are planning to develop or renovate a premise that includes commercial, industrial or institutional food preparation, be sure to include grease interceptors during the planning and design process in order to avoid costly retrofits. Interceptors could be installed outside rather than inside of your facility.

Grease interceptor requirements

Examples of fixtures typically requiring a grease interceptor:

  • meat thaw sinks
  • plate, pot or dishwasher pre-wash sinks
  • main wash sinks
  • floor drains or troughs that service tilt skillets or large soup kettles
  • water wok ranges
  • exhaust hood filter cleaning units
  • dishwasher (interceptor must be sized accordingly to handle discharge flow)
  • any other fixtures that may generate fats, oils and grease (FOG)

Related Links

Protecting Red Deer's Water Brochure (pdf)
Protect the Pipes (pdf)
Utility Bylaw 3606/2018 (pdf)
Grease Interceptors Brochure - English Version (pdf)
Grease Interceptor Maintenance Record (pdf)
Inspections and Licensing