Don't let the Greasy Gremlin, get into your drains!
Be on the lookout for the "GG" the Greasy Gremlin! He's wandering around town and trying to clog drains and sanitary sewer lines with gunk. Help us keep GG and his greasy grime above ground. Never pour fats, oil or grease down the drain! If you let the greasy gremlin in, you'll need a plumber very soon!
What is FOG?
FOG stands for "Fats, Oils and Grease" and is found in your kitchen or garage. Most FOG comes from the grease and oils we use when cooking at home or at restaurants. But FOG can also come from oils and lubricants machines discharge into floor drains.
Many of the foods we eat contain FOG; meats, sauces, salad dressings, deep-fried dishes, cookies, pastries, butter and many others. Food scraps that we wash down the drain contribute to the fats, oils and grease in the City's sewer lines.
Grease build up in the sewer system can block sewer pipes, interfere with the normal operation of the City's wastewater treatment system and cause sewer spills.
Is FOG a problem? Yes.
When fats, oils and grease are put into the City sewer lines in any amount they can seriously affect the sewer system's ability to remove waste from our community. FOG can be deposited directly on pipe walls, thus decreasing pipe capacity and, therefore, requiring an increased frequency of cleaning, maintenance, and replacement.
FOG, especially grease (fats that are solid and stable at room temperature) dissolved in a warm and/or soapy liquid may not appear harmful. But when released into the sewer system that liquid cools down significantly. The grease/fats can harden and adhere on the pipe surface. Over time, FOG can cause big problems.
Ways you can help ...
The easiest way to solve the problem of fats, oil and grease buildup and help prevent sewerage overflows is to keep FOG out of the City sewer system.
Here are a few tips ...
- Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets.
- Scrape grease and food scraps from trays, plates, pots, pans, utensils, and grills and cooking surfaces into a can or the trash for disposal.
- Pour fats, oils and grease into a container such as an empty jar or coffee can. Once the materials have cooled and solidified and the container is full, secure the lid and throw it in the trash.
- Don't put grease down garbage disposals. Put baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids, and empty the drain baskets/strainers into the trash for disposal.
- Communicate with your friends and neighbors about the problem of grease in your sewer system and how to keep it out. The solution starts right in your home with your actions.
- Businesses are allowed to have grease receptacles. If your business has a grease receptacle, you must maintain it or have a service agreement to properly dispose of the grease from the container. Be mindful of your receptacle and make sure grease does not spill out and the lid stays closed when you are not disposing of grease.
Problems caused by grease blockages ...
Sanitary sewer lines blocked by FOG can cause major problems such as:
- Raw, septic sewage backing up into your home or your neighbor's home.
- Expensive and unpleasant cleanup that you must pay for.
- Raw sewage overflowing into neighborhood parks, yards and streets.
- Potential contact with disease-causing microorganisms from the sewage overflow.
- An increase in operation and maintenance costs for the City of Morganton, which could cause higher sewer bills for you.
- What about using my garbage disposal or use detergent to wash it down the drain? Home garbage disposals do not keep grease out of your sewer system, nor will it prevent grease from building up. Products such as detergents that claim to dissolve grease may pass the grease down the pipeline and cause problems elsewhere.