Most Restaurants have to deal with grease in one way or another. It could be grease consumed and expelled by fryers or even more dramatic, the expulsion of grease generated through fatty meats during the cooking process. With that said, keeping grease filters clean and safe is a common pain point for QSRs.
Why You Need To Clean Your Grease Filters
Grease filters are designed to mitigate fire risk by keeping as much grease from entering the vent and duct system as possible. Grease buildup is known for causing fires that have the potential to destroy property and even hurt staff and customers. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) stipulates that all hoods and ducts must be routinely inspected to ensure they are clean and pose no fire risk. When substantial grease deposits are found during the inspection, a deep cleaning is required. The frequency of these inspections is dependent on the type of food environment, but are typically required on a quarterly basis for most QSR’s. Conventionally, grease filters can be kept clean through nightly cleanings and frequent deep cleans, both of which involve a lot of water and degreasing chemicals.
Grease Filter Cleaning And Water Waste
When a hood or duct system needs a deep cleaning, pressure washers and degreasers are used to ensure all areas are cleaned according to NFPA standards. This process ends up sending a lot of excess water and degreasing chemical agents down into the sewer system. Each night, team staff need to degrease the exterior filter and its components. To do so, they will use approximately 1-3 gallons of water per filter, per night.
When an inspection shows the need for a deep clean of the hood and vent system, restaurants can expect to use about 50 gallons of water per vent hood. Between nightly cleanings and frequent deeper cleans, restaurants can expect to go through more than 3,000 gallons of water each year. And that water comes with a cost of about four cents per gallon.
More Than Water Enters Our Sewers
If the financial burden of water waste isn’t enough, consider that it isn’t only water that is going down the drain. Filters and vents are soaked in that water with powerful degreasing agents and chemicals before being manually scrubbed. After the whole process, that water mixed with grease and chemicals goes straight into the floor drains of restaurants. This wastewater must be processed in water treatment plants and re-used.
Reduce Filter Cleanings With Cascade Plus
The Cascade Plus Grease Filtration System actually reduces the need for nightly cleanings as well as deep cleanings on hoods and ducts. Cascade Plus is a proactive approach to the grease problem and it allows operators to capture the grease at the entry of the hood so it can then be safely discarded in a biodegradable way. Remember, the Cascade Plus filter media is 100% compostable.
Using the Cascade Plus system can save in wasted water as well as the need to dump so much contaminated grease water into sewer systems, and that can make a difference. Cities around the world are experiencing what have been deemed “fatbergs” where fat solidifies in drains and traps other garbage and debris causing blockages. Reducing the number of cleanings will help reduce the amount of grease that enters the sewer system and with that, the amount of water that needs processing.
Grease has caused a lot of environmental issues for restaurants including water waste, energy cost, and chemicals and grease entering our water system. The Cascade Plus system works to alleviate some of those environmental problems and offers a much green(er) solution for restaurants with sustainability in mind.