Tips for Disposal of Fats, Oils and Cooking Grease to Protect Home Plumbing and Sewers

Morristown Minute
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New Jersey American Water Provides Tips for Disposal of Fats, Oils and Cooking Grease to Protect Home Plumbing and Sewers.Photo byNJ American Water

As families across New Jersey prepare to give thanks and indulge in delicious Thanksgiving feasts this week, New Jersey American Water issues a timely reminder: 'Give thanks, not clogs.'

This holiday season, the feast may be grand, but so could be the aftermath if fats, oils, and grease (FOGs) from cooking find their way down the drain and into the sewer system. Let’s make sure this Thanksgiving is remembered for the right reasons, not clogs!

When washed down the sink, FOGs turn into thick sludge as they cool and stick to pipe interiors at the lower parts of the drain. Neither dishwashing detergents nor garbage disposals have the ability to properly break down these materials, which build up over time. Eventually, this sludge can cause sewer blockages, backups, and overflows, which pose potential health and environmental hazards.

Rinsing food scraps and FOGs down the drain may seem like the easiest way to quickly clean up after a holiday feast, but it can lead to costly and time-consuming plumbing repairs,” said Stephen Karpinski, Senior Supervisor of Statewide Sewer Operations at New Jersey American Water.Taking extra steps to dispose of these materials properly will help minimize the risk of damaging your residential plumbing as well as our wastewater distribution system as a whole.”

New Jersey American Water provides the following tips for handling fats, oils, and grease:

  1. The answer is not at your disposal. No matter how powerful your garbage disposal may be, it can’t prevent FOGs from sticking to your pipes. Never rinse FOGs down the drain.
  2. Strain it, don’t drain it. To keep food scraps out of pipes, install a basket or strainer in the drain and empty the trapped pieces into the trash.
  3. Let’s talk trash. Scrape all food scraps and FOGs from plates, pots, and utensils into the trash before washing.
Our homes are filled with warmth and joy during the holidays, and the last thing anyone wants is a plumbing problem,” said Karpinski.Let’s celebrate responsibly by giving thanks and not clogs this holiday season.”

For more information regarding wastewater tips and treatment, view the infographics on New Jersey American Water’s website, and the FOG disposal video on the company’s YouTube channel. A printable poster with proper FOG disposal tips for restaurants and businesses can also be found on the company's website here.

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