Keep FOG out of drains to keep the plumber away

Keep FOG out of drains to keep the plumber away
Posted on 11/23/2022
Keep fats, oils and grease out of your drains.

In the spirit of giving, one of the most helpful tips that El Paso Water can give out this holiday season is to remind customers that FOG – otherwise known as fats, oils, and grease – belongs in the trash, not your pipes

If poured down the sink, FOG can wreak havoc in several ways:

  • FOG will harden in your wastewater pipes, reducing the pipe's capacity and ability to operate properly.
  • If not addressed early, FOG could result in sewage backups on your property and possibly impact adjacent downstream properties.
  • FOG can destroy your property’s interior plumbing, resulting in expensive repairs or a need for total replacement.
  • FOG can shut off your dishwasher during a cycle and cause damage to the appliance.

“It’s a problem that we face year-round, but we always see an uptick in stoppages due to grease during the holidays,” EPWater Pretreatment Manager Nancy Nye said. Unfortunately, wastewater clogs due to FOG have been on the rise since 2020.

FOG includes butter, shortening, margarine, meat trimmings, poultry skin, cheese, milk cream, sour cream, cooking oils, salad dressing, gravy, and mayonnaise.  None of these items should be going into your drains.

Luckily, there are very easy alternative methods of disposal. Throwing FOG in the trash is the easiest way to avoid expensive plumbing visits and prevent blockages in the wastewater system.

EPWater also recommends using a paper towel or rubber scraper to wipe out any remaining FOG from pots and pans before cleaning them in the sink or dishwasher. One other suggestion is to install baskets or strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and throw them away.

Click here for a simple trick to safely collect grease rather than sending it down the drain.

“People tend to think that small amounts of oil or grease don’t matter,” said Nye. “But neither dishwashing detergents nor garbage disposals can properly break down those materials.”

If you happen to have a large amount of FOG from your holiday meals, please safely discard it by storing it in a leak-proof container and dropping it off at one of the city’s Citizens Collection Stations. To find the nearest location, click here or call 311.


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