When you think about sewers, it’s usually because you’re experiencing a plumbing problem in your house: your sink is backing up or your toilet won’t flush.
You probably don’t spend much time thinking about the sanitary sewer system, but there are 1,400 miles of pipes – enough to stretch to Florida and back – under the city that are constantly working to rid our homes and businesses of waste. You can help keep the sanitary sewer system working efficiently and effectively by taking some simple steps to prevent problems in our sewers.
Fats, oils and grease (FOG) from cooking oil can cause problems when poured into toilets, sinks or other sanitary sewer drains. When FOG cools and solidifies, it builds up inside of sanitary sewer pipes. In your home, FOG buildup can lead to slow running drains, odor problems and even sewer backups. In the city’s sewer lines, FOG can cause blockages that lead to sanitary sewer overflows that discharge raw sewage into streets, yards and creeks.
Follow these tips to prevent FOG buildup in your home and neighborhood:
• Never pour grease into sinks, toilets or drains.
• If you have grease left over from cooking, pour it into a metal can. When the grease cools, you can throw the can in the trash.
• Cooking oil from frying can be mixed with absorbent materials such as kitty litter, sawdust or coffee grounds and placed in the trash.
• Scrape food scraps into the trash, not down your drain. Garbage disposals will not get rid of FOG.
• Before placing dishes and cookware in the sink or dishwasher, wipe them with a paper towel to remove FOG.
By following these tips, you can prevent FOG from causing problems. Thanks for keeping our sanitary sewer system healthy!