Ways To Get Ripped Off!

Rip-Off #1: Getting a firm quote over the phone.

Not all grease traps are the same. They come in various sizes and have various amounts of gallons. Quotes can be made either per gallon for the large underground tanks or by the job for the small inside tanks. Most food servicing facilities do not really know how many gallons their grease trap are. If you’re looking to price around or wanting better service, you typically will use an invoice from your current company to see how many gallons you have been charged for in the past. They may be wrong. So, by not personally looking at your grease trap, measuring it and knowing how much time it will take to clean it completely, a quote over the phone can lead to unexpected charges.


Rip-Off #2: Price for service:

Right now, a price for pumping a grease trap that is 1000 gallons (for example) has a wide range and there is a reason for that. The cheaper the price the less service you are getting. What is less? Read line #3.


Rip-Off #3: Action of the pumping company
When a grease trap is being serviced, the pumping company will typically service in the early morning hours because the process of pumping a grease trap is very messy. Just the odor of it is enough to make you sick if you are sensitive to bad smells. It is not harmful; it just smells really bad. Being at your facility early helps with the issue of bad odor and it also means you’re not around to see what is not being done.

With no one there to see if the job is done correctly, pumping companies have an opportunity to do what is called skimming or partial pump. What is skimming or a partial pump? Why is that bad? Read line #4.


Rip-Off #4: Skimming or partial pumping.

This process is easily done and makes the pumping company a lot more money. Skimming or partial pumping is where the pumping company has the operator take off the top layer of grease and leaving the rest of your grease trap waste untouched. For example, if your grease trap is a 1000 gallon tank, skimming or partial pump only takes out a couple hundred gallons but charges you for 1000 gallons.

This is bad for a couple of reasons.

1) You paid full price and did not get 100 % of the service completed.

2) Your grease trap still has solid waste at the bottom, grease build up on the side of the walls and still has some grease left in the back of the tank where the operator didn’t get.

3) IT IS NOT ALLOWED! Most if not all municipalities do not encourage or allow this type of action.

4) By doing half the work, this action could lead a Wastewater Pretreatment Inspector believing that your facility needs to be serviced more often., which will cost you more money!

5) By never completely pumping it out and cleaning it, your grease trap in time will become septic. This means the waste inside your grease trap has increased in acidity. Once that happens, the concrete lining of the grease trap will start eroding away and eventually eating a hole in the grease trap. It is very expensive to replace a grease trap.

 Rip-Off #6, Ghost pumping:

Ghost pumping is when the pumping company shows up at your facility; places an invoice on your back door. Just because you have an invoice from the pumping company does not mean they actually did anything. As some of you know, most of the Wastewater District’s in which you are in, require you to send a copy of the invoice every quarter or upon request. Having an invoice is a small way of tracking your responsibility to have your grease trap serviced.  So ask yourself, just because you have an invoice in hand, do you know if the job was done?

Rip-Off #7, Pumping a trap and scraping:

Pumping and scraping a grease trap is nothing more than pumping out what the operator can see. Access to the grease waste inside your grease trap starts at 2 feet in diameter. The size of the man hole lid. As the trap is pumped out, the operator can now see up to 4 feet in diameter near the bottom. Most traps are 6 foot wide and can be as long as another 4 to 10 feet. Those extra area’s are pockets in which the operator cannot see or gain access to leaving large amounts of waste. Scraping can be helpful only at the front of the primary chamber around the sewer-tee. Nothing more. This type of cleaning can be done only in grease traps that are small in size and shallow. (Example 6x4x2)

Rip-Off #8, Illegal dumping:

This process is the most damaging and destructive action against you, our local wastewater treatment facilities, and our environment. This action allows the pumping companies to give you a cheap price for service because they are not paying for the disposal fees.


Here are some examples:

   1. Arrive at your site with a load of fresh water and dump it into your grease trap. By doing this, this will flush most if not all of your grease waste down and out of your service line and into the city main. Leaving your grease trap looking like it has been pumped recently. This action is one of many reasons SSO’s occur. (Sewer Service Overflow) A Sewer Storm Water Authority, Health Department and EPA violation!

   2. Pumping out your grease trap and then dumping it into another grease trap near-by. Once again, not paying for the cost of treatment and causing the problems just mentioned above.

   3. Pumping out your grease trap and dumping it down a sewer storm drain.

   4. Pumping out your grease trap and dumping directly into a city sewer main.

   5. Pumping out your grease trap and dumping it down a floor drain.

By reading this report and understanding the industry, you will have the information you need to make an informed and intelligent decision. If you want a quick and cheap service, many companies in the phone book can help you. You cannot do this yourself. But, if you want to discover the benefits of hiring a professional pumping company, then I invite you to call us. We will be happy to answer your questions or provide you with a free evaluation of your wastewater collection system.

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