Fats, Oils, and Grease Harms Pipes

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Prevent FOG From Damaging Your Home, Business Or The Environment

Fats, oils, and grease can be unhealthy for your body.  But did you know that fats, oils and grease are bad for your plumbing system, too? FOG comes from cooking oil, bacon grease, meat fats, food scraps, shortening, lard, butter and margarine, gravy, and food products such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, and sour cream. 

When FOG is poured down kitchen drains, it accumulates inside sewer system pipes.  As FOG builds up, it restricts the flow in the pipes and can cause untreated wastewater to back up into homes, businesses and streets, resulting in high costs for cleaup and restoration.

This buildup generally comes from two sources - Food Service Establishments (FSE) and residential kitchens.  FSE like restaurants, hospital kitchens, cafeterias and other public kitchens are regulated and are required to install grease traps that must be cleaned periodically.

Residential households don't have grease traps and contribute fats, oils, and grease into the sewer system by washing it into the plumbing system through the kitchen sink.  Just a few simple actions can prevent the buildup of fats, oils, and grease in the sewer system.   Follow these easy tips and not only will your family be protecting the environment from sewer overflows, and you may never have to call a plumber again!

Protecting Our Pipes Brochure (pdf 1392KB)

 

Residential FOG: Can The Grease

Don’ts

  • Never pour FOG down sink drains or toilets
  • Never pour FOG down garbage disposals
  • Never pour food scraps down the garbage disposal
  • Hot water and dish soap DOES NOT dissolve fats, oils or grease. As soon as these liquids cool while in pipes, they will harden.

Do’s

  • Pour small amounts of grease into a non-recyclable container (juice can, empty milk carton, coffee cans, pet food cans).  Make sure the grease hardens before disposing of it in the trash.
     
  • Before washing, scrape and dry wipe pots, pans and dishes with paper towels and dispose of materials in the trash.
     
  • Use sink strainer to catch food items, then empty the strainer into the trash.
     
  • To dispose of liquid oils under one gallon that do not harden, put them in a closed container and bring them to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection event.
     

Special Note for Turkey Frying Oil: Used cooking oil in a closed container is accepted year-round at the City’s free monthly Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events.  It is recommended that you designate a container for the used oil before starting your turkey-fry, and carefully transfer the oil immediately after it has cooled. Seal the container immediately and schedule your appointment to drop off at a HHW event as soon as possible to avoid spoilage.

If you have any questions about residential FOG, please contact Customer Care at 667-6500 or myvtawater@cityofventura.net.