Article by Jeff Becker, VP-Sales & Branch Development, Day & Nite / All Service
As we transition out of the heat of summer and prepare for the fall season, I would like to share with Total Food Service readers insights about safety, sustainability and savings in a key area of maintenance that is usually handled in a reactive fashion: plumbing.
There are three primary areas to consider relative to operational plumbing risks:
• Leaking sinks and equipment:
As I had discussed last month, water can result in a costly danger to facilities. Whether it is a leak that creates a wet floor or a sink with a constant drip, the risk of a slip and fall or the impact on utility expenses creates additional exposure for an operator. As part of a facility audit, sinks, water lines and drains should always be inspected.
• Drains & sewers:
Typically, these components are treated in a reactive fashion. If there is a back-up, the plumber is called… This approach can lead to lost revenue and an impact on the customer experience as a result of back-ups and odors that can emanate from drains. Furthermore, drains and sewers are a prime breeding ground for flies and other insects.
Analogous to arteries in a human body with the propensity for plaque build-up, proactive operators will utilize water jetting as a solution to clean and maintain drains removing organic build-up. By effectively jetting these drains, an operator will eliminate odors, save money by minimizing the potential for back-ups and reduce the need for pest prevention as food debris that builds up is evacuated through this process.
With drains, it is also important to ensure that indirect drains or air gaps are in place to further minimize the risk of back-ups.
• Grease traps:
Much like sewers and drains, improper maintenance of grease traps will lead to back-ups, insects and odors; again, impacting the customer experience. Most restaurants utilize companies to pump grease traps on a repeatable cycle. Companies that specialize in grease trap pumping typically do not have plumbing expertise to understand and root cause problems that may develop.
It is important to consider that this method is evasive based on the need to run a hose through the facility. Additionally, these large trucks utilize a great deal of fossil fuel in order to perform service. Another challenge is the fact that this method does not address, flies, insects and odors. Nor does it remove all organic build-up from a grease trap, ultimately requiring pest control services to treat these areas.
By utilizing an innovative approach, operators can eliminate the need to pump grease traps along with the risk of back-ups and pests that are a function of this traditional method. This solution involves utilizing a microbial treatment process managed by licensed plumbers that will eliminate the need for pumping as the microbials that are injected will safely eliminate organic matter.
What I appreciate about the value of a proactive solution delivered by a licensed plumbing company is the ability to identify the root cause of a problem and provide a solution that does not just triage the situation, but provides a permanent fix. An additional benefit is that operators are able to address this service need in a sustainable manner and minimize the need for pest control.
Jeff Becker is the VP-Sales & Branch Development, Day & Nite / All Service. Prior to joining the company he served in several roles with Aramark. You can forward service questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.