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Case Study

Grease Interceptor at University Dining Hall

Until recently, all the grease interceptors in the dining hall kitchens at Michigan State University (MSU) were made of concrete. The university is now replacing these deteriorating units one by one.

Cost-effective fiberglass

Before trying fiberglass, MSU installed a coated steel grease interceptor. The expensive coating was needed to protect against corrosion. These extra costs led them to search for an easier, less expensive option.

MSU invited us to present to their mechanical group. They liked what they heard, and chose our corrosion-resistant fiberglass tank to replace the grease interceptor in the Snyder Phillips dining hall, which seats 600 and is one of the busiest on campus.

In early June, that 2,500-gallon/9,000-liter concrete interceptor was replaced with our 20,000-gallon/76,000-liter fiberglass grease interceptor. Our lightweight tank was easy and quick to ship and install, providing another cost savings.

MSU’s mechanical team now specifies only fiberglass.

Design flexibility

Once Ian O’Brien, project manager in MSU’s Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Department, had ordered our tank, he realized that the best design would have a side discharge pipe rather than an end discharge pipe.

“I really like the design flexibility you offer,” he explains. “That adjustment eliminated many elbows and allowed us to have no 90-degree elbows at all.”

A grease interceptor hooked up with fewer elbows reduces the potential for food, solids and grease to plug up the system, which is a common occurrence at facilities like this.

“With students, most of the waste going into the interceptor is food waste, which frequently plugs up the system,” Ian explains.

By the time the concrete grease interceptor was taken out, it was being pumped out once or twice a week. Ian expects that the new interceptor will need to be pumped out once every several weeks.

Environmental advantages

Having a tank that is designed and manufactured to protect the environment also fits in with the values of the university, which hauls away the waste from its grease interceptors to be burned as biofuel.

Application highlights

  • Our 20,000-gallon/76,000-liter interceptor replaced a 2,500-gallon/9,000-liter concrete interceptor
  • Corrosion-resistant tank is more cost-effective than coated steel tank
  • Design flexibility of our tanks contributed to overall ease of installation, resulting in a savings for additional plumbing costs on materials and labor
  • Fits in with customer’s environmental values