Restaurants are equipped with grease traps to handle the cooking grease they generate, but households are typically not equipped with this key wastewater industry tool. And with more people cooking at home, more fat, oil, and grease (FOG) are building up in treatment systems across the Lone Star State. FOG combines with flushable wipes as they make their way to a treatment facility. Once there, both materials will accumulate into a “greaseberg”, which is a large mound of non-biodegradable sanitary materials combined with FOG. This material can completely clog a sewer system and requires frequent jetting and chemical additives to break down. Greaseberg can also cause major issues with lift stations and sewage pumps downstream. When the build-up reaches a wastewater treatment plant, it can block screens and filter systems, clog sludge pumps, and increase sludge volumes – all of which are costly to repair. Addressing these issues at Meadows Place wastewater treatment plant will include upgrade to the lift station pumps and controls and the installation of a mechanical bar screen to prevent these foreign materials from entering the system. And after the equipment has been installed, the city/operator will have to address the decades long build up of inorganic material in the bottom of the tanks within the facility. Fortunately, the facility can be cleaned without interruption of the treatment process.
Public Works Director: Rod Hainey