Drain Dosing Systems: Enzyme or Biological?
Managing fats, oils, and grease (FOG) effectively is a major – and legally required – part of running a commercial hot food kitchen. You are likely aware of traditional grease traps and their benefits but there is also the alternative of drain dosing to help manage your FOG. There are two main types of drain dosing, and the choice between enzyme dosing and biological dosing in your drain dosing system can significantly impact kitchen efficiency and compliance. The experts at Goodflo are here to demystify these two methods, helping you select the most appropriate solution for your kitchen's specific needs.
What is an Enzyme Drain Dosing System?
Enzyme dosing employs specialised enzymes (proteins that act as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions) to tackle FOG in commercial kitchen drains. These enzymes are adept at breaking down complex FOG molecules into simpler substances. This process is essentially a pre-treatment and helps make FOG more manageable. However, it's vital to note that the enzymes themselves are not living entities and, as such, facilitate the decomposition of FOG but don't consume or remove it. Enzyme dosing helps reduce the size of FOG particles, which does simplify their management, but does not entirely eliminate them from your drainage system. As a drain dosing system, it's a method that sets the stage for further treatment, such as a traditional grease trap, but is not in itself a comprehensive grease management solution.
What is a Biological Drain Dosing System?
Biological dosing is often a much more comprehensive drain dosing system and involves introducing live bacteria into your wastewater pipes and drainage system. These bacteria not only break down FOG molecules but also consume them, effectively removing them from the drainage. This process is more comprehensive and self-sufficient than an enzyme dosing system. These specially formulated living bacteria actively digest FOG, turning it into harmless substances, thereby being much more efficient at eliminating the risk of build-ups and blockages. The efficiency of biological dosing hinges on various factors, such as the type of bacteria, the environmental conditions within the drainage system and the composition of the FOG being consumed. This method is particularly effective for kitchens experiencing high volumes of FOG, offering a robust solution for long-term grease management.
Comparing These Drain Dosage Systems
They may sound like remarkably similar processes, but enzyme dosing and biological dosing differ fundamentally in their approach to managing FOG. Enzyme dosing serves as a preliminary measure, breaking down FOG into smaller particles without removing them, which then requires further treatment down the line for a complete grease management solution. This is beneficial for kitchens with lower FOG outputs where it can serve as an effective initial step in your broader grease management strategy.
In contrast, biological dosing provides a more encompassing solution. It uses bacteria that not only disintegrate but also consume FOG, thereby removing them entirely from your drainage system. This method is particularly suitable for kitchens with higher levels of FOG, ensuring a more thorough and sustainable approach to grease management. However, it’s important to consider factors such as the presence of caustic cleaning chemicals, extreme temperature variations and the volume of contaminated wastewater, which can influence the effectiveness of the bacteria.
Environmental and Legal Considerations
Choosing between enzyme and biological drain dosing systems involves considering both environmental impact and legal compliance. With increasing environmental regulations and a focus on sustainability, selecting a method that minimises ecological impact is crucial. Additionally, adherence to local and national FOG management legislation, such as the Water Industry Act 1991, is essential to avoid fines and legal complications.
It must be considered that biological dosing treats FOG within the drainage and sewerage system rather than preventing it from entering the drainage system, as defined in the act. Therefore, water companies may not recognise biological dosing as a standalone-compliant solution. Combining a dosing system with a traditional grease trap can provide a much safer and more comprehensive solution, effectively separating and treating FOG before it enters the drainage system.
The Power of Combined Solutions
Once we understand that no single solution is entirely perfect, the obvious solution is to combine enzyme or biological dosing with a traditional grease trap. Grease traps effectively separate FOG from wastewater, preventing it from entering the drainage system. The added protection of a dosing system ensures thorough treatment of FOG, acting as a safety net against FOG creeping into the sewer system and keeping your grease trap in good working order for longer. This combined solution aligns with both operational efficiency and regulatory compliance, ensuring your kitchen remains efficient, compliant and responsible in its grease management responsibilities.
Drain Dosage Systems: Ask the Experts
With our thorough understanding of the strengths and limitations of each system, and considering the potential for combining solutions, we hope this blog has helped you make a more informed decision for your kitchen's grease management solutions.
For expert guidance and bespoke solutions that align with your kitchen, get in touch with Goodflo today on 01926 334466 or email email@example.com. You can explore more about our dosing systems right here on the website too.