Does It Really Matter If You Pour Grease down a Drain?

We’ve all done it at some point even though we knew we probably shouldn’t pour grease down a drain.  Many people still do this because they don’t understand why it’s bad. That is until they need to find a sewage cleaning professional to unblock the sewer system.

When your waste water is flushed from your pipes and enters your sewer system, the fats and oils will have a reaction to the other chemicals, water, and products in the sewer system. These reactions can form conglomerations and build-ups that clog the pipes that deliver our waste water to the various treatment plants.

The EPA estimates that approximately 46% of the sewer backups in the USA are a direct result of fat and grease. Some common effects of grease on a drain and sewer system include:

  • Reduced pipe flow capacity,
  • Blockages,
  • Baths and sinks draining slowly,
  • Sewage backups, and
  • Water source contamination.

Keep in mind that fat and grease don’t just come from bacon! Some products that cause fat and grease build up include:

  • Various sauces,
  • Cooking oil,
  • Food scraps cooked in oil,
  • Meat products, and similar.

Here is what you can do about it:

  • Recycle your oil: There are various SWA drop-off centers across the US. They accept up to 5-gallon containers of used oil. If you don’t have the inclination to recycle, you can bottle the used oil and place it in your usual trash for collection. Cooking oil and grease can be used to make biodiesel which is quite valuable and makes it a viable option especially for restaurants, hotels and similar.
  • Reduce grease and oil before you wash the dishes by wiping plates, bowls, dishes, and pans with paper towels before you wash them.
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