City of Auburn’s Inspections on Grease Traps, After 3-year-old Drowns

The drowning death of 3-year-old Sadie Andrews in a grease trap prompted the city of Auburn to look into it’s policies and actions on grease trap inspections.

Following a request from police, the city also secured the Bruster’s Real Ice Cream grease pit cover, putting metal manhole necks and covers on it after the accident.

Maintenance, security, and upkeep of grease traps is up to business owners.

City manager Jim Buston said city responsibility is limited and straight forward.

“I found out we simply inspect for functionality of the device, so we don’t want our sewers being clogged with grease, so we inspect how much grease has accumulated in the device and then inform the owner if they haven’t pumped it out,” said Auburn City Manager Jim Buston.

The grease trap at the Bruster’s Real Ice Cream shop where Sadie died was last inspected in June 2017.

The city has 110 grease traps. The covers look like man holes. Most are located where there is usually no car or pedestrian traffic. Only three grease traps in the city have entrances above ground; Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Venditori’s Italian restaurant, and D-Square Donuts.

The city notified those business owners about the incident and advised them to inspect the lids on the traps to make sure they are secure.

“Then I wanted to know what we knew about what happened and that’s what we are trying to still figure out what happened. There’s a lot of rumors going around. I’m not sure if those are true and we are waiting on the police investigation to conclude until we can say what happened,” said Buston.

The city also awaits any outcome from a grand jury.

Buston said, the results of those two probes may produce information the city would use to advise business owners about their grease pits going forward.

Related Articles