Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner
We often hear messages about the ill effects fats, oils and grease (FOG) have on our health but do you also know they can also be bad for your home and environment as well? Yes, excessive FOG in sewer pipes can block pipes and create pollution problems in your home and the environment.
FOG enters sewer pipes through restaurant, residential and commercial sink drains. Once in the sewer, FOG sticks to the pipe, thickens and can completely block the entire pipe. Blockages in sewer pipes can send sewage back up through floor drains and toilets at the lowest point in your home, as well as out of manholes into streets and rivers. These sewage overflows pollute our homes and environment and lead to higher operation and maintenance costs for local sewer departments.
Below are a few tips you can share with your friends and family.
- Pour or scrape greasy or oily food waste into a container or jar.
- Allow grease to cool or solidify in the container before throwing it in the trash.
- Use a paper towel or a scraper to remove residual grease from dishes and pans prior to washing.
- Mix liquid vegetable oil with an absorbent material such as coffee grounds in a saleable container before throwing it in the trash.
- Keep drains clean by pouring ½ cup baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup vinegar. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water.
Three things you’ll want to avoid.
- Do not pour fat, oil or grease down the drains or garbage disposal.
- Do not use hot water to rinse grease off cookware, utensils, dishes, or surfaces.
- Do not put “disposable” wipes down the drain or toilet – they do not dissolve and will cause clogs.
Preventing sewer back-ups from FOG blockages saves money and protects the environment. Residents can help control the problem by properly disposing of fats, oil and grease. Everyone is part of the solution.