Don't Put Grease Down the Drain

Did you know that kitchen grease, oils and fatty foods poured down the garbage disposal and/or sink are major contributors to sewer blockages and overflows? What happens is pretty simple. When fats, oils and grease cool down, they solidify and build up in sewer pipes. This build up can cause clogging and may result in sewer overflows either within your home or into streets and storm drain systems. Sewer blockages and overflows may damage your property and may result in costly pipe repair and clean up costs.

In addition to the mess and costly cleanup efforts, sewer overflows can also cause health hazards and threaten the environment. Overflows or other discharges on the street and into municipal storm drains flow directly to San Francisco Bay and are a leading source of water pollution in the Bay Area.

Here are a few simple tips that you can use to protect your sewer pipes, avoid costly sewer blockages and overflows, and preserve local water quality:

* Do not put fats, oil, grease, greasy foods or fat trimmings down the garbage disposal or drain.

* Mix cooking oil or other greasy food items with an absorbent material such as paper towel, newspaper or coffee grounds, place it in a paper carton (i.e. milk, juice or ice cream carton) and dispose of it in the green waste cart. Also, you may freeze the contained mixture and place it in the green waste container at collection day.

* For greasy pans that need to be soaked, first pour off the grease into a container as mentioned above. Then place a paper towel over the drain basket to catch grease and food particles as you pour the soaking water down the drain. Dispose of the paper towel and greasy food items in the green waste container.

* For quantities over one cup of cooking oil and other liquid fats (such as from turkey deep fryers), call the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at (800) 606-6606 or the EBMUD sewage treatment plant at 287-1651 for guidance on convenient, free disposal options.

To find more information regarding kitchen fat, oil and grease take-back options, refer to the East Bay Municipal Utility District's Web site at www.ebmud.com/wastewater/residential_pollution_prevention/#fats,_oil_and_grease

 

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