Contact Us
(317) 924-3311

Thanksgiving Food May Cause Sewer Backups

By Sarah Holsapple on 11/22/16 2:47 PM

Properly Dispose of Fats, Oil and Grease

INDIANAPOLIS – As you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast, remember to consider how the foods you dispose of could affect your sewer system for months to come.  Fats, oil and grease (FOG) are found in many Thanksgiving favorites like turkey, stuffing and gravy. When washed down the drain, FOG can cause sewer backups.

In 2016, Citizens reports more than one hundred incidents of sewer backups were caused by FOG. While the majority of those reports came during the summer months, the problem likely originated during the holiday season when FOG was washed down sinks and drains.

“When FOG builds in the sewer system, it can reduce the system’s capacity and  potentially cause a blockage,” said Jamie Dillard, Director of Wastewater Operations. “Sewer blockages can cause backups at your home which is not only a health hazard but also a signifcant expense to repair.”

FOG enters the sewer system in a liquid state when it’s washed down the drain or flushed down the toilet. Over time, FOG solidifies and attaches to the sewer system’s pipes and joints resulting in a backup. Reducing FOG is easy to do and while it may add a few extra steps to your kitchen cleanup routine, the payoff is well worth it.

 How to Dispose of FOG

  • Pour fat, oil or grease into a small container. Once it solidifies, place the container in the garbage.
  • Wipe grease off pots, pans and dishes before washing them.
  • For restaurants or other food preparation establishments, FOG can be a valuable resource as a recyclable. FOG can be sold to rendering companies for use in soaps, fertilizers, and animal feed.
  • Do not put used oil, oil-based paints, solvents or other chemicals down sewer lines or storm drains. Dispose of them at an Indianapolis ToxDrop site. For a location, visit

Citizens must respond to grease blockages in an aggressive manner. Our response includes removal of FOG blockages and investigating the source of origin.  Our response may result in fines and penalties as well as the cost associated with FOG removal and sewer cleaning.

About Citizens Energy Group

Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 800,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities only for the benefit of customers and the community.

Media Contact Information

Laura O'Brien
(O) 317-927-4341
(C) 317-519-1515

Recent News

View All News