In November, a 5-year girl fell into a grease trap outside of a restaurant in Kanawha County, West Virginia. The manhole lid was not secured properly, so when the young girl stepped on the lid, it shifted, and she fell in. Fortunately, the girl’s mother was able to pull her out of the grease trap to safety. She was treated at the hospital and is doing fine now.
This scare has prompted West Virginia legislators to draft more stringent requirements for grease trap lids and more severe penalties for businesses that don’t comply. In a unanimous 33-0 decision, the West Virginia Senate passed a bill that will require food service establishments to secure the covers of grease traps. This means that the manhole cover must be secured by a bolt or locking mechanism or be heavy enough to prevent unauthorized access.
The bill will also increase fines from $5 to $50 for each day that a business fails to comply with this new requirement. All restaurants, hotels, and other commercial food service establishments that use grease traps in West Virginia have until August 1, 2020 to comply. The bill now goes through the West Virginia House of Delegates.
If your business or home has a grease trap, septic tank, grit pit, or any other type of underground wastewater containment, it is vital that the access port is securely covered. First, ensure that the lid is made from an acceptable material such as concrete, cast iron, or heavy-duty plastic. Sheet metal or wood planks are not acceptable lids. If the access port is in a parking lot or driveway, ensure that your lid is traffic rated. Next, check your lid for any damage. If it has any holes, cracks, or other wear, replace it immediately. Lastly, make sure your lid is properly secured with bolts, screws, or a locking mechanism.
Don’t risk the wellbeing of your customers, friends, or family. If your business needs a new grease trap lid to ensure safety and stay in compliance, Hapchuk, Inc can find a solution for you.