Turkey grease down the drain, a big no no.

Turkey grease down the drain, a big no no.

Winter holidays are the time to give thanks, be merry and ring in the new year. It is also a time to cook fatty foods.

When it comes to discarding turkey and prime rib Fat, cooking Oil and bacon Grease, (Fats, Oils, Grease – FOG) people use the kitchen sink drain first. Most people will never think about where that FOG goes. Except it went somewhere, if you’re lucky it’ll make it out of your homes plumbing and into the sewer main in the street.

“The average cost to clear a grease filled sewer pipe starts around $150”. For an entirely preventable situation, its worth changing your habits.

Most Water Resource Recovery Facilities that remove wastes from water will ask you to not let Fat’s, Oil’s and Grease go down the drain as it can cause sewer overflows in the street. Using extra dish washing detergent won’t help, neither will a sink full of HOT water.

So what should you do instead? We compiled a list of solutions for you.

Top 3 ways to get rid of holiday Fats, Oils & Grease

  1. Wait for grease to cool in pan and wipe it away with a paper towel. Add the paper towel to your green waste cart. If you’re concerned about rodents, place the paper towel in a paper bag then put in the bin.
  2. Pour the grease into an old coffee can or glass container and place in the fridge. When it has cooled, scoop it out with a spoon and place in trash or green waste bin.
  3. Collect the fats, oils and grease in a large bottle and bring it to a local “Household Hazardous Waste” or “FOG” receiving facility. Other options are to drop-off cooking oils at a bio-diesel manufacturing facility. Check local listings for a place to bring it. {example on WikiHow.com)

But my small contribution to the sewer won’t make a difference!

It will, yours and the hundreds of thousands of people around you all combine into one big mess. Curious as to what it looks like below the street?

Maybe your curiosity caught the best of you. If you do wonder what happens to the grease when you put it down the drain, we’ll show that to you in pictures below.

Every sewer agency should record on video the insides of their pipes so they can see their condition. These video clips was acquired from the local agency and its quite telling. The pipe is 8″ in diameter and made of ABS plastic.

FOG in lateral to sewer main.

FOG in bottom of lateral prior to sewer main.

Normal-ish lateral.

Normal looking lateral.

The white glob on the bottom of the pipe is from excessive quantities of Fats, Oils and Grease put down the drain. These homeowners were lucky it got out of their house, but it can begin to clog up the sewer main in the street. With enough grease, these preventable clogs can cause backups in the street or even worse, into your homes.

Everyone in this neighborhood received a mailing card about what was found and ways to prevent it. Do your part and help to reduce these grease build ups by not pouring grease down the drain.

Here is an example of a HydroJet crew in Texas clearing a sewer line that is caked with grease. Nasty stuff.

Other examples of grease filled pipes can be seen below.

Grease clogged pipe. Bing! Image Search

Grease clogged pipe. Bing! Image Search

Grease clogged pipe looks like arteries.

Grease clogged pipe looks like arteries.

If it makes its way to a treatment plant, it will become giant Grease Balls. Think of them as Matzah Balls. All this grease forms on walls of pipes and tanks it requires a lot of man power and labor to remove.

Grease balls and assortments of other trash.

Grease balls and assortments of other trash.

All of this entirely preventable. You have the power to curb your behavior. Discuss it this holiday with the clean up crew and work to protect this pollution from entering the environment.