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Frequently Asked Questions - Grease Traps

Do these microbes grow in my drains and how do they survive in the environment?

An initial "seeding" of the drain/grease trap is carried out in order to introduce the microbes into the system. Large numbers of these microbes then attach themselves to surfaces of the pipe and trap, as well as any grease deposits where they continue to consume grease and organics converting them to carbon dioxide, water, and more bacteria.

The microbes that adhere to surfaces continue to grow and thrive in the grease trap. In fact, by forming bio-films, microbes are protected from short-term exposures to high temperature (when the dishwasher discharges), from pH swings, or from chemical toxicity (when cleaning or sanitising chemicals are discharged). Production of bio-films is a natural mechanism that evolved for bacterial survival. We utilise it to provide product effectiveness in a grease trap.

Do they contain live micro-organisms?

The active ingredient in our formulations is a live bacterium. These bacteria have been selected from nature for specific capabilities and then adapted to maximise those capabilities in drains and grease traps. These highly developed strains are blended in a synergistic combination, whereby different strains complement each other to maximise their effectiveness.

Can the bacteria make me sick?

The product is very safe. Studies have been conducted to make certain that the strains in our products are not hazardous to people or pets.  

This testing includes studies on inhalation, ingestion and skin contact. Common antibiotics kill all of the bacteria. The formulations may be considered eye and skin irritants due to some of the components used. It is not recommended to expose skin to the product for excessive periods of time and hands should be washed after handling product.

What is the difference between microbes and enzymes?

Microbes in our formulations perform their work by producing enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts in bio reactions that breakdown organics and grease. Enzymes also catalyse the growth of micro-organisms. Enzymes are generally very specific. Their activity depends on the molecular shape of the enzyme fitting to the shape of the compounds in the reaction.

Microbes are often called "enzyme factories". But they do more than simply produce enzymes. They provide an "intelligent, efficient" system whereby they can detect the organics present in a grease trap and (as long as they have the capability) produce specifically those enzymes needed to breakdown the organics present. You couldn't hire a team of PhD's that could analyse the organics present and synthesise the enzymes to breakdown those organics as effectively.

How does BioOGF react with microbes already present in the grease trap?

Our products are used in applications where microbes can survive. Every niche in our environment that can support microbial growth has already established a population of "naturally occurring" strains. We use bio-products in these niches when we want to change the conditions (i.e. reduce grease).

As bio-products are seeded into the environment, they must grow and establish a place in that population. They work with the naturally occurring strains often breaking down large, more complex molecules into smaller units that actually feed many of the native strains. In some applications, initial dosage may be higher to assist in establishing that position in an already established ecosystem.

Does the grease trap treatment cause the grease to be transferred downstream?

Transference of grease downstream would defeat the purpose of the grease trap allowing grease accumulation in the receiving collections systems. Numerous municipalities have raised this concern. We have tested this potential in laboratory microcosms to verify that when grease traps are treated as recommended, we can safely conclude that no net transfer of grease from the grease trap occurs.

The city of Toronto conducted a two-year field test that concluded that bio treatment had the potential of decreasing grease in grease traps by up to 50% and did not transfer grease downstream.

What happens to the microbes that are transferred downstream with the grease trap discharge?

They will continue to work and degrade organics in the drain line, collections system, or treatment systems downstream. They will provide benefit by degrading organics wherever they travel in the waste collection system.

What happens to the product if it freezes or gets too hot?

Microbes in our products are in a protected form called spores. They are highly resistant to changes in temperature. When non-spore or "vegetative" cells freeze, ice crystals will be formed in the cytoplasm and may poke a hole in the fragile cell wall. But bacteria in spore form have a hard spore coat that cannot be pierced. When vegetative cells are exposed to high temperatures, the lipids (fatty materials) in the cell wall may dissolve allowing the contents of the cell to spill out, thus killing the cell. Again a rigid, tough spore coat protects the spores.

Although spores could be injured from very high temperatures over long periods of time, it is unlikely that normal shipping or storage conditions would cause inactivation of the product. We claim a shelf life of two years under standard storage conditions. Actually, the product should remain effective for many years.

What maintenance will I continue to have to do?

Although the frequency of emptying the grease trap will be greatly reduced, the trap will still need to be emptied, particularly if the water flowing through the trap contains non-organic material (soil etc.), which is not biodegradable or large food particles, which take a long time for the micro-organisms to digest.

How can I tell if it is working?

There will be a noticeable difference after 4 -6 weeks from commencement of the treatment. There will be a reduction in odours from the grease trap. In addition to this the grease accumulating in the trap will be different in appearance. Instead of it forming a thick solid crust, the grease in the trap will remain liquid looking.