Ithaca, N.Y. — The leaking sewage that has shuttered Taste of Thai on the Ithaca Commons was contained to the restaurant’s basement, said Marc Albanese, chief inspector of plumbing for the City of Ithaca, on Wednesday.
Tompkins County health officials quoted in previous coverage of the sewage had not identified the location of the leak within the restaurant.
The plumbing department has met with contractors and come up with a plan to repair the defective equipment — a large, aging grease trap — Albanese said.
“Taste of Thai has passed the initial inspection and have done the proper repairs,” Albanese said. “They didn’t have the time to completely repair the trap, so we allowed them to have the manufacturer come and seal the exterior for now. They have agreed to completely replace the trap within the month.”
Albanese said that the grease trap sorts various fluids that come from the kitchen, including acids or food that would cause blockages.
“Among these things is a family of greases that decompose in the waste lines, and they cause a problem when they reach the sewer,” Albanese said. “Each facility that has this type of waste is required to have a grease trap.”
With a leak in the grease trap, the waste wasn’t sorted and the sewage was able to enter the basement, according to Albanese.
Albanese said that it is unclear when the restaurant will reopen for business, but the leak has been fixed for now.
“Taste of Thai has been very compliant,” Albanese said. “It wasn’t their fault. They just happened to be in a facility with an old grease trap.”