Properly Dispose of Fats, Oil and Grease
INDIANAPOLIS – As you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with all the fixings, it’s important to be mindful of how the foods you dispose of could affect your plumbing and the sewer system near your home. Fats, oil and grease (FOG) are found in many Thanksgiving staples like turkey, stuffing and gravy. When washed down the drain, FOG can cause sewer backups.
In 2017, Citizens reports more than 100 incidents of sewer backups were caused by FOG. While the majority of those reports came during the summer months, the problem likely started during the holiday season.
“When washed down the sink or drain, FOG builds up and can create blockages that ultimately lead to sewer backups,” said Tim Blagsvedt, Director Wastewater Collections. “These backups create potential health hazards and may lead to property damage and costly repairs.”
FOG enters the sewer system in a liquid state when it’s washed down a drain or garbage disposal, 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 well worth your time.
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 indy.gov/ToxDrop.
Citizens must respond to FOG blockages in an aggressive manner, including removal of the blockage and investigation into the source of origin. Our response may result in fines and penalties, as well as costs associated with FOG removal and sewer cleaning.