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Grease Disposal Best Management Practices For Residential

Residents can help prevent pipe blockages and sewer overflows by keeping grease out of the sewer system. Sewer backups can cause damage to homes, health hazards and threaten the environment. Sewer pipes blocked by grease are an increasing common cause of overflows.

Where does grease come from?

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG's) are a natural consequence of cooking and can also occur naturally in many foods.  Grease is the common term for animal fats and vegetable oils.  It can be found in such items as:

  • Meat fats
  • Lard
  • Butter and margarine
  • Cooking oil
  • Shortening
  • Food scraps
  • Baking goods 

What are the grease issues?

Grease is frequently poured down the sink drain because the warm oils are liquid and can be poured.  It may not appear to be harmful but as the liquid cools, the grease solidifies and causes buildup inside the pipes, becoming a hardened mass.  The buildup restricts the flow of sewage and clogs the pipes.

The implications can be:

  • Raw sewage backing up into your home. 
  • A call for a plumber.
  • An unpleasant and expensive cleanup at your expense.
  • Raw sewage overflowing into parks, yards and streets.
  • Potential contact with disease-causing organisms.
  • Increased cost for your Wastewater department which may result in higher sewer bills for customers
The easiest thing you can do is keep grease out of the sewer system in the first place.
  • Never pour grease down the sink or into the toilet 
  • Do not put food scraps down the garbage disposal.  These units only shred solid material into smaller pieces and do not prevent grease from going down the drain.
  • Use a strainer in the sink to catch food scraps and other solids.  
  • The Wastewater Department recommends allowing your hot oils, sauces, and gravies to cool before scraping into a plastic bag and then disposing of in your trash can.

Who should I call if I see a sewer overflow?

Call us first. We are a 24/7 operation with staff on duty at all times. If you have a back up on your property or see an overflow occurring in your area please call us during normal business hours at 813-898-1420. After 5pm, weekends and holidays, the 24/7 emergency number is 813-247-3451. A team will be dispatched to your location. The team will determine the source of the problem. If there is a back-up or clogged line in our pipes, we'll fix the problem and it won't cost you a dime. If the back up or overflow is due to a problem in your pipes we will let you know.

Remember, prevention is the key. Keep your pipes and drains "fat-free".