Drainage: Pivot Of A Sustainable Kitchen Design
Drainage: Pivot Of A Sustainable Kitchen Design
May 25, 2022
Kitchen drains can be serious potential hazards. Issues of blockage, odour and even leakage can leave the uninformed helpless. The best designer kitchens can go wrong in the long run if correct and seamless disposal of wastewater is not incorporated in the design. Since most of all the systems and elements required are behind the walls - at least a large percentage of it – all the difficulties arise only after a certain time post commissioning of the space. Drainage components provided in any kitchen should be of the highest standards not only in terms of quality design in the external and visible area as well but also for hygiene and food safety. A proper drainage system makes the design of the kitchen more sustainable in the long run and prevents future hassles.
Despite increasing concerns about food safety and the significant hygiene hazards that poorly designed drains represent, they still tend to be overlooked as sources of contamination, especially in commercial kitchens. Many surveys in the West have found extreme habitation of bacteria and other dangerous microbes in kitchen drain in domestic kitchens. This is not a new or region-specific problem, and it applies equally to the larger operations in the foodservice industry. These reports might be from countries that have high institutionalised standards of hygiene and food safety. It is quite evident that India has a long way to go in terms of kitchen drainage.
Additionally, sustainability in terms of water efficiency has become a key component in kitchen design. If recycling the greywater is a part of the design, the drainage systems must be planned in advance to incorporate into the design.
Hygienic design is defined by round corners, full drainage and avoidance of uneven welds. Photo Courtesy: Aco Systems and Solutions Pvt. Ltd
Steps such as robotic welding and advanced deep-drawing techniques can help eliminate the need for metal-to-metal contact in gullies. This will eliminate the possibility of bacteria, which are usually 2-5 micron in size, living in the crevices with the drain supplying ample food and water for them to thrive on.
The standard material that is used to produce such drains is stainless steel, which guarantees high resistance against corrosion, is non-porous, easy to clean and disinfect, aesthetically pleasing and resistant to extreme temperatures and temperature shocks. The material is also 100% recyclable.
The cutting, shaping and welding process for stainless steel may lead to the introduction of unwanted filth on the surface, which may lead to corrosion and other undesirable effects on the material quality. It is therefore essential to utilise the correct surface finish for the final product – acid pickling and passivation. Both processes ensure that the products have a long service life and pleasant aesthetics.
When choosing a drainage system, it is necessary to make sure that all its parts will work correctly. All of these need to be designed with long service life and simple maintenance in mind and need to comply with hygienic as well as safety standards.
Sustainability in terms of water efficiency has become a key component in kitchen design. Photo Courtesy: Aco Systems and Solutions Pvt. Ltd
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What about residential kitchens?
Each kitchen has specific needs in terms of intercepting waste liquids, conveying them and acting as a barrier. The growing focus on resources, energy and waste indicates that it is most important to ensure efficient waste and wastewater management. There are relevant EU standards, including EN1433 for kitchen channels and EN1253 for gullies, which should be followed while considering the components for kitchen drainage. Besides, EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group) has also laid down design principles for food contact surfaces in drains, such as metal-to-metal contacts, in order to combat hygiene risks.
Hygienic norms and slip prevention are also required to be taken into account during the creation of products. Understandably, it is a demanding task to ensure that commercial kitchens comply with all the necessary standards. The same goes for kitchens in residences too, since while the scale of operations might be smaller in their case, the requirements remain the same.
Kitchen operations use fluids both during the preparation of food and while washing dishes. On its own, this creates a permanent risk of a moist and slippery floor. Most modern kitchens have dishwashers but the extent of dishwashing in the kitchen sink, especially in Indian kitchens should not be discounted, despite the presence of dishwashers.
The requirements of areas where food is prepared are different. For instance, it is necessary to ensure the safe movement of a larger number of individuals and simple access to draining floor elements to allow the quick drainage of water from special food preparation equipment like inclinable pans and combined ovens.
A proper drainage system makes the design of the kitchen more sustainable in the long run and prevents future hassles. Photo Courtesy: Aco Systems and Solutions Pvt. Ltd