Early this afternoon, someone pounded on back door of PJP Buttonwood. Because the food truck had already stopped by for the Tuesday delivery, Jeanne and I glanced at each other and wondered who it might be. We suspected a killer would probably just use the front door because it would be a lot easier, so Jeanne threw caution to the wind and opened the back door while I hovered in the background, ready to call 911. Turns out, it was only a truck from Pro Pumping & Hydrojetting.
This truck was here for the quarterly visit to pump out our grease trap. And nothing breaks up a routine afternoon at PJP like the arrival of a grease trap pump truck. Or Jeanne's discovery of CoffeeHouse - The Country Version channel on Spotify.
(By way of background, I spent a significant portion of February 2014 arguing that we couldn't even possibly need a grease trap because we don't cook with grease. That said, I was vetoed by the construction team, the mechanical engineer, and City of Columbia regulations. Without much delay, Jeanne and I became proud owners of an enormous grease trap. I watched the plumber install it (it sort of looks like a big coffin in the ground), seal it with the cover plate, and then I immediately stopped thinking about it. Because GREASE TRAP.)
About six months after installation, a city official stopped by and asked to see our Grease Trap Log. I'm sorry...our what? I was dumbfounded as the city official explained I was required to tediously note my maintenance of the grease trap. As in: who cleaned it, when it was cleaned, what came out of it (just kidding on the last one...but it wouldn't surprise me in the least).
During our first cleaning, I wasn't at PJP for whatever reason and I was seriously bummed that I missed it. I was anxious to prove my point that the in-ground coffin/trap would be basically empty, since we don't fry anything at PJP Buttonwood. (And I love to prove myself right. Ahem. Except Jeanne told me that the trap was actually completely full and I was righteously indignant and sort of glad I missed it.)
And then it was time for the cover plate to be removed...
The picture I'm about to show you is DISGUSTING. Fascinating...but disgusting. Just don't even look if you are easily grossed out. You've been warned.
Are you sure?
I know, right? This trap is just about four feet deep and the sludge is primarily grease and other debris from when we pre-rinse our dishes to go in our overpriced rental dishwasher. I DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND THIS. Where could this possibly all come from? And if ours looks like this, what does a restaurant that fries food have in their trap? Do they get bigger traps? My questions are endless, really.
So the guy sucked it out of the trap and into his truck. From there it goes to a lagoon and then it turned into fertilizer. I'm sure he wasn't expecting a Grease Trap 101 interrogation while he worked, but he humored me with answers to my litany of questions.
Then he scraped it all clean and washed it all down. (He brought his own hose, in case you were curious, which I thought was a considerate touch.) (Also, I asked him how many times he had thrown up at this point in the process in all his grease trap cleaning years and the answer was ZERO. He grew up on a farm AND has cleaned a lot of fast food grease traps, so he claimed to be unfazed by the garden variety grease trap.)
And finally, 15 minutes or so later, our trap was clean.
As he was putting the lid back on it, he threw out a few tips if we wanted to take a peak in there now and then on our own...but we promptly stopped him. I am rare to close off opportunity, but I'm 100% certain that I don't want to look in there unsupervised.
The cost of the service was $200. And that sounds pretty reasonable for sucking a couple feet of goo out of a trap and hauling it away...without even throwing up. We gifted the guy with a baby pie of his choice. We figured he deserved it for doing a job we never want to do. We think Mike Rowe would approve.