See if this sounds familiar to you: your family is sitting around the table after eating a perfect southern meal of fried chicken; mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, macaroni; and a big helping of apple pie or peach cobbler, with a healthy spoonful of ice cream, of course. When it comes time to clean up the kitchen, where does the fry grease go? Down the drain, right? Wrong!
The grease that’s typically used for deep frying food is naturally going to solidify at room temperature and doesn’t mix well with other liquids, not a good combination for the underground systems that are used to process the wastewater that leaves your house. In fact, some sewer mains and pumping stations have to been cleaned out to get rid of the fats, thickening oils and grease that find their way into the system. This extra work means higher bills for you and fewer staff members available to answer trouble calls. If we don’t keep the system clean, sewer backups can occur, leading to overflows at manholes or clogs in your shower drain and sinks. Imagine what kind of day you’d have if a simple toilet flush led to a backup on your bathroom floor.
We refer to this unnecessary waste as FOG, aka fats, oils and grease, and it’s a problem for all of us. FOG comes from meats, butters and margarine, lard, food scraps, sauces, salad dressings, dairy products, and cooking oil. When FOG goes down the drain, it hardens and causes sewer pipes to clog. This can lead to a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) where raw sewage actually backs up into your home, lawn, neighborhood, and streets. We’d like your help to eliminate FOG in our wastewater collection system.
Before you decide to pour fats, oils and grease down the drain STOP! and follow these guidelines:
- Do put oil and grease in covered collection containers.
- Do scrape food scraps from dishes into trash cans and garbage bags and dispose of properly. Avoid using the garbage disposal.
- Do remove oil and grease from dishes, pans, fryers, and griddles. Cool first before you skim, scrape, or wipe off excess grease.
- Don’t pour oil and grease down the drain.
- Don’t put food scraps down the drain.
- Don’t rinse off oil and grease with hot water.
Food grade oils can be easily placed in a closed container and put in your trashcan. Used motor oil should be taken to your auto parts store or any facility that reclaims oil.
Please do your part and cease the grease.