FROG - Fats, Roots, Oils and Grease in the Sewer System
Help Us Prevent Fats, Roots, Oils and Grease Clogs/Blockages in the Sewer System
Septic tank and sewer overflows can cause major health hazards, costly cleanups and environmental damage. Raw or partially treated sewage can back up into homes or flow into area streets, parks, yards, lakes and streams. The resulting corrective action usually involves hefty repair bills for homeowners and increased operational costs for sewer service providers.
THE CULPRITS OF THESE MESSES?
In many cases, they are fats, roots, oils and grease-all of which clog pipes. Typical sources include food scraps, butter, margarine, cooking oils, sauces, dairy products and greasy leftovers.
HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Fats, Oils and Grease 101: Fats, oils and grease don't mix well with water and easily adhere to other materials, such as underground pipes. When washed down the drain, these substances can solidify and stick to the pipe's interior. Over time the grease can build up and cause blockages or breaks in the pipe.
ROOTS AND LANDSCAPING 101: Tree and shrub roots also cause clogs and damage to sewer and septic tank lines. Most roots thrive in the warm, moist environment of underground pipes, entering through cracks and often growing to the point of causing blockages. Grease and other debris washed down the drain stick to the roots, further worsening the problem. If not removed, the roots can eventually break the pipe and cause the line to collapse.
Video - Residential Tips on
Preventing Sewer Backups
Video-Commerical Tips on
Preventing Sewer Backups
GREASE DISPOSAL MYTHS
Myth: It's ok to pour fats, oils and grease down the drain as long as I:
- ...don't have too much of it.
Fact: The best way to dispose of cooking oils and grease is to pour it into a heat-safe container and throw it away in the trash or store it in the freezer for later use.
- ... use the garbage disposal.
Fact: The garbage disposal only grinds up items into smaller pieces before passing them into the wastewater pipes.
- ... chase it down with dish soap.
Fact: Although soap does break up grease, it loses its effectiveness downstream, leaving grease to solidify on pipe walls.
- ... run hot water.
Fact: The same hot water used to dissolve grease from dishes and cookware and into the drain will eventually cool and cause the grease to harden elsewhere in the piping system.
- ... have the oil at room temperature.
Fact: Liquid cooking oils, such as canola and olive, float on water and easily adhere to pipe interiors. Also, they can collect on food particles and other solid substances and cause blockages in the lines.
BE SLICK AND WIPE OUT GREASE
- Find a used cooking oil collection site closest to you! Call 891.5233 or 891.5201 for more information. Participants will be happy to know that the contribution of their used cooking oil will be re-used to produce clean burning biodiesel for use in City Fleet vehicles.
- Remember that grease and oils should never be poured into drains, toilets or garbage disposals.
- Scrape or wipe off grease, oils and fatty residue from cookware, utensils and dishware into a container and dispose in the trash.
- Save excess oils in containers and freeze for later use or recycle.
- Absorb oils into kitty litter or use disposable towels and place in the trash. Watch out for roots. Before landscaping, determine the location of sewer lines and or drainfields.
- You may also wish to consult with a nursery or gardener to find out how a plant's roots will grow. When landscaping, avoid planting trees and shrubs above underground pipes and drainfields.