Go Grease Free


Fat-Free Sewers: How to prevent Fats, Oils, and Greases from Damaging Your Home and the Environment.

Fats, Oils and Greases aren't only bad for your arteries and waistlines. They are bad on the Sewer systems too.

Sewer System overflows and backups can cause health hazards, damaged home interiors and threaten the environment in which we live. The most common casue of these overflows is caused by sewer pipes clogged by grease.

Grease gets into the sewer system from not only household drains, but as well as from poorly maintained grease trap from restaurants and other businesses.

Helping to prevent sewer overflow and backups is easy.

Where does grease come from?

A byproduct of cooking, grease comes from meat fats, lard, oil, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, baking goods, sauces and dairy products to name a few. When washed down the sink, grease sticks to the inside of the sewer pipes on your property and into the streets. Over times, it can build up and block the entire pipe, causing a Sewer Overflow.

Beware:   Home garbage dispsals do not keep grease out of the plumbing system. Products such as detergents that claim that they dissolve grease might pass it down the line and cause problems elsewhere.

The Results:

  • Raw sewage overflowing in your home or your neighbor's home.
  • An expensive and unpleasant cleanup often must be paid for by you, the home or business owner.
  • Raw sewage overflowing into parks, yards, and streets.
  • Potential contact with disease-causing organisms.
  • An increase in operation and maintenance costs for local sewer departments, which causes higher sewer bills for customers.

What Can You Do?

You can help prevent sewer overflows by:

  • Never pouring grease down the drain or into toilets.
  • Scraping grease and food scraps into a can or the trash, for disposal for recycling (where available).
  • Putting baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids, and emptying them into the trash.
  • Speaking with your friends and neighbors about how to keep grease out of sewers.

What Business Owners Need to Know:

For a grease trap or interceptor to work correctly, it must be properly:

  • Designed, sized and manufactured to handle the amount that is expected.
  • Installed properly - must be level and vented.
  • Maintained - cleaned and serviced on a frequent basis. How frequent depends on how fast grease builds up into the grease trap.

Solids should never be put into grease traps or interceptors. Routine, often daily, maintenance of grease traps and interceptors is needed.


*Some information was adapted from the Water Environment Federation

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