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Posted on: June 22, 2022

Can the Grease and Prevent Sewer Backups


Fats, oils and grease (FOG) make their way into the sanitary sewer system when things like oil, dairy, baking products and food scraps are washed down the sink drain.  Improper disposal of FOG can result in blockages and clogs in City sanitary sewer lines and pipes inside homes.  Blockages in pipes can lead to extensive and costly property damage and foul odors from the backed-up pipes.  These clogs in the sewer pipes can lead to a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) where raw sewage can back up into your home, yard, streets and neighborhood.

Tips for Residents

When you're finished cooking, collect liquid grease and oils in a sealable container that you can reuse.  For solid grease that cannot be poured into the container, you should wipe clean with a paper towel, and put it in the trash.  Food scraps should also go in the trash.  Scrape off excess food from pots and plates before rinsing them in the sink.  For larger amounts of grease, let it cool, then pour or scrape the hardening grease into a sealable container, and dispose of it in the trash.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do put oil and grease in covered collection containers.
  • Do scrape food scraps from dishes into trash cans and dispose of properly.
  • Do remove hot oil or grease from dishes, fryers, and pans.  Cool first before you skim, scrape or wipe off excess grease.
  • Place a catch basket or screen over the sink drain when rinsing dishware, or when peeling food to catch small scraps that would otherwise be washed down the drain.  Throw the scraps in the trash.  Avoid using the garbage disposal.
  • Do not pour oil and grease down the drain.
  • Do not rinse off oil and grease with hot water.  Hot water melts the FOG off the dishes and into the sewer pipes.  Later, in the sewer, the hot water cools and the FOG may clog the pipes.

What to Do If There Is A Grease Blockage

Here are some early warning signs of a clogged drainage system in your home:

  • Slow water drainage
  • Gurgling sound
  • A bad smell coming from your drains
  • Continuing to put grease down the drain

If you're experiencing a clog in your kitchen sink and you have put grease down the sink, then it may be a grease clog, but it could also be a combination clog.  Sometimes a piece of hard material can get stuck in your drain.  Excessive grease build-up along with an obstruction can speed up the clogging process.

If you experience a grease blockage in your home, here are some problems you can take to remediate the problem.

  • You can use a commercial drain cleaner.
  • You can try a homemade remedy of mixing hot water with baking soda and vinegar.
  • You can hire a plumber. 

Can the Grease Video Courtesy of Tech Insider
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