Grease traps for your food business

If your business produces greasy waste you will need to use a grease trap to stop fats, oils, grease and solids from getting into your sewer or septic tank.

The types of businesses that need a grease trap include:

  • restaurants
  • fast-food outlets
  • supermarkets
  • butchers
  • bakeries including cake decorators
  • cafes
  • takeaway stores
  • care centres

You are responsible for checking and maintaining your grease trap.

If your grease trap connects to the sewer it must be an approved product meeting Power and Water Corporation guidelines.

Find out more including how to manage greasy food waste and other trade waste on the Power and Water website.

When to check your grease trap

You should check your grease trap at least every three months.

How to check your grease trap

There are some checks you can carry out to help maintain your grease trap.

Check the structure

You should check the structure for signs of the following:

  • gaps in the lid that insects or mammals can squeeze through
  • cracks or chips in the lid or on the walls of the grease trap
  • decayed internal walls
  • missing baffle plates.

Check for rodent activity

Grease traps make a good shelter for rodents. You should check around the grease trap for signs of rodent activity.

Plumbing fittings that connect to the grease trap can provide a way for rodents to enter the building.

You should also check if the grease trap is level. Rodents digging out underneath can disrupt the foundations and make the grease trap slant over.

This can lead to problems including:

  • causing the grease trap to short circuit
  • blocked drains
  • overflows.

Check for strong smells

All grease traps smell bad when the surface is disturbed. When the lid is down it should not be overly powerful.

If there is a powerful smell with the lid down you should consider getting it cleaned out.

You should get advice from your contractor about the condition of your grease trap

Clean your grease trap

You must get a qualified waste handler to clean out your grease trap.

Find a list of certified plumbers or licensed waste transporters in the Northern Territory (NT).

More information

You can contact Power and Water Corporation's Trade Waste Department by calling 1800 245 092 or emailing

Last updated: 22 September 2020

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