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GREASE-GOBBLING MICRO-ORGANISMS SOLVE PIPE PROBLEMS
6 July 2011

Florida’s best kept secret for elevating problems associated with fats, oils and grease, is now available nationwide.

Utilizing billions of micro-organisms (otherwise known as vegetative bacteria), 96% of fats, oils, grease and sugars (FOG) are eradicated within 64 hours. With 65% of all drain line blockages in commercial establishments being caused by organic waste, costly wastewater surcharges and fines are hugely reduced.

In Florida, hundreds of restaurants have already joined Environmental Biotech’s Grease Eradication System (GES®) program. Primarily this has involved teams of professional technicians taking ownership of the problem to ensure optimum drain line performance in the safest, most responsible way.

The GES® involves grease-hungry micro-organisms simply feeding on the problematic fat, sugar and starch wastes found clinging to drains turning it into water and carbon dioxide – a process known as bioremediation.

Whilst the program itself has seen many restaurants adopt the GES®, the size of the system and level of technical support required has restricted nationwide coverage. To resolve this, Mr. Rooter  has added the GES® to its services as part of its commitment to preventative maintenance.

Jeff Moody, vice president of operations of Mr. Rooter Corporation, said:

“For the first time, caterers of all sizes have access to the right green solutions to suit their budget. We have been servicing commercial establishments across the States now for several years. In that time we have never come across a system quite as effective at alleviating FOG and drain fly issues. Moreover, it does not contain any soaps, emulsifiers or chemicals of any kind, making it safe for the environment.”

Mr. Rooter Plumbing is able to quickly establish the scale of any restaurant’s FOG issue using a FOG measuring device, the DIP Stick Pro. Dipped into the offending grease trap on site, an accurate FOG measurement can be obtained. This makes it incredibly easy to recommend the amount of bacteria and type of GES® required.

In fact, to keep running and installation costs down, many are opting for the GES® Micro Drip System. Already, this is providing smaller outlets with the opportunity to finally take care of their FOG issues whilst addressing their environmental impact. Up until now, this was only economically feasible for larger establishments.

The system contains bacteria that are replaced every 7, 14 or 30 days depending on the size of the establishment and amount of fats, oils and grease being disposed of. It is designed to meter and deliver the exact amount of highly concentrated bacteria into the drain line making it simple to use. At work 24/7, the bacteria produce a biofilm in the drainage system so as waste is released the bacteria consume it on contact. 

The disruption of drain flies habitats:

Where drain flies are an issue getting rid of them can prove difficult. After much development, a blend of bacteria has been put together that is incredibly effective in solving, reducing or removing the drain fly habitat; thus no more drain flies. The Drain Blast® Drain Fly Treatment can either be manually poured into the drain or dispensed by the Micro Drip System. Taking just over 2 weeks to completely eradicate any drain fly habitat, the bacteria simply consume the flies’ food source.

In much the same way as the GES®, the products can be easily Private Labeled for institutions or distributors. Training materials can also be supplied in order for facilities management teams to adopt the FOG and drain fly elimination as part of their routine drain maintenance program.

Dealing with odor

On average, a restaurant will wash almost 2 pounds of solids down the drain daily, if not more! This can create significant odor issues, presenting a health and safety nuisance. They will have several options available to them, but the latest product available is the GES® Plus, which can be dispensed using the Micro Drip System.  With a built in deodorizer, the bugs get to work and eat up the blockages, immediately and permanently resolving all odor issues.

Where there is significant build-up of odor-causing solid organic waste – for example in fast food establishments and coffee shops, a Fine Particle Strainer (FPS) is recommended in addition to the GES® Plus. Used by Starbucks, the FPS is a low cost and low maintenance system that removes 99% of food or organic debris particles from all sink fittings before they pass into the drainage system.

Odor problems of all kinds can be handled since the bacteria will feed off any organic waste, including urine. This is an equally pressing concern for those wishing to maintain an inviting restroom area. In much the same way as treating the drain lines, bacteria are dispensed into the offending urinal or toilet at timely intervals. The microbes and enzymes literally eat the uric acid crystals effectively removing all traces of urine and the odor associated with it.

The wider environmental impact

Commenting on the bigger picture, Aziz Tejpar, owner of Environmental Biotech said:

“The food service industry as a group is the largest contributor to fat related sewer blockages. Fugitive discharges of fats and oils that make it past the food facilities’ drains collect in manholes and sewer lines causing blockages and sewage spills, resulting in high clean-up costs and fines for those found responsible.

“Realistically, the use of the GES® will gather pace over the coming months, yet we cannot afford to ignore the immediate environmental impact. This is why work is already underway with municipals across the US.”

Having already picked up a business innovation award at the Manatee County Chambers for its contribution to limiting the environmental impact of FOG, the first US GreaseSafe® in Bradenton, Florida, is set to be replicated in other cities with populations of over 250,000.

Cleverly, the system is capable of handling up to 50,000 gallons of grease trap waste per day. The bacteria turn vast quantities of fats, oils and grease into water, carbon dioxide, and fertilizer, and Greasesafe goes one step further, turning some of the waste content into biofuel.