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Grease traps: Eatery owners risk compounds
Published on: Tuesday, November 22, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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This stall operator was given some advice on how the grease trap at her premises should be cleaned.
This stall operator was given some advice on how the grease trap at her premises should be cleaned.
Eatery owners can be compounded of up to RM500 for failing to maintain their grease traps or for deviating from City Hall’s guidelines as regards the installation of these gadgets inside their kitchens.

A spokeswoman for the agency’s Environmental Health Department (EHD) said such action could be taken in extreme cases under its by-laws.

“First time offenders face the possibility of having to settle a RM100 compound,” she said.

She stressed that the oily discharge entering the traps should be removed daily.

“Don’t hold off cleaning the traps only till it becomes necessary to do so.”

The spokeswoman said it was imperative that the unwanted cooking oil from commercial kitchens was dealt with responsibly.

“Proprietors should also avoid modifying the traps and adhere to our approved specifications.

“A ‘T-joint’ should also be put in place before the outlet from these gadgets and they should not be connected to the drainage servicing their premises.” 

An Inanam stall operator at the Golden Hill Commercial Centre and a restaurant owner at the adjacent HSK Industrial Centre were cautioned last week about the haphazard manner in which the grease traps in their kitchens had been installed, according to the spokeswoman.

She said the agency’s health inspectors observed that the “T-joint” was missing from the gadget at the former eatery, while the outlet for the one at the latter was connected to the common drain behind the shop.

City Hall’s maintenance crew dislodge the blockages, including bits of congealed grease, inside one of the overflowing manholes at the HSK Industrial Centre.

“Both proprietors have been advised on our requirements and given a grace-period in which to comply.

“A follow-up inspection will be carried out after this. Further action will be taken against them if our instructions go unheeded.”

The spokeswoman said the agency’s Food Quality and Safety Division had inspected both commercial properties – located off Mile 7½, Jalan Tuaran – after bits of congealed grease were seen floating in the effluent channelled through the sewer pipes beneath Lorong Cempedak 6A in the HSK area.

“Five personnel with the Division checked on two restaurants at the Golden Hill Commercial Centre, as well as 30 stalls at a food court on the grounds.

“The team also went to one restaurant in the HSK Industrial Centre.”

She said the inspectors confirmed that each of the stalls was equipped with a grease trap and that the mall, which housed the foodcourt, had a main manhole.

“They counted eight manholes between Lorong Cempedak 6A and the road in front of the mall.”   

Aside from the one hawker, whose grease trap did not have a T-joint, she said there was nothing amiss with those used at the other stalls in the foodcourt.

“Nevertheless, the kitchen staff and shop operators, whom our staff met, were advised on how to go about cleaning these gadgets.

“It is crucial that they get the message as the sewer-line in this part of Inanam has repeatedly been clogged with grease, causing some of the manholes to overflow.”

The manholes on Lorong Cempedak 6A have been overflowing on and off, which has proven bad for business.

Shop owners in this part of the HSK Industrial Centre have lost many potential customers and tenants over the past two years due to the stench coming from the effluent which periodically collects on the road.

A strong ammonia-like smell, most recently, permeated these units for several days at the beginning of November.

A proprietor alerted Hotline to these goings-on around this time. Her grievance was forwarded to City Hall.

The spokesman for the agency’s Engineering Department said its maintenance crew went to the property on the same day that the agency learned about this problem from the media.

“The contractor’s workers opened several manholes on the road where the complainant’s unit was located and found that the effluent past the brim of these structures,” he said.

“They set about ‘sewer-rodding’ the length of the pipes underneath on the spot. 

“Bits of congealed grease were among the foreign objects strained from the sewage. 

“We suspect that some parties may be flushing used cooking oil into the sewer-line.”

He said the high level of the effluent prompted the crew to visit the sewage pump-house. 

“The maintenance staff reactivated the pump after finding that it had tripped.”

“Our contractor has been told to make regular inspections of the device, as well as the sewer pipes between HSK and Golden Hill next door.

The spokesman said this individual was asked to step up efforts to clear the pipes as this would go some way to reducing the inconvenience caused to the public.

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