Avoid costly clogs

Release Date
Mon, September 17 2018
Dumping fats, oils, and grease down the drain can harm the environment
Brian McGovern

Next time you’re cleaning up after dinner, pay attention to what’s going down the drain. Sure, we all know not to dump bacon grease. But there are other foods, like salad dressing, butter, and sour cream, that can also cause serious plumbing problems and harm the environment.

Fats, oils, and grease – or FOG – is any food waste that should not go down the drain. This includes cooking oil, pan drippings, sauces, lard, shortening, margarine, gravy, mayonnaise, and others.

Even non-greasy food scraps can clog your home’s wastewater lines, so avoid putting food of any kind down your drain. In fact, vegetable waste should be thrown in your compost bin.

This buildup restricts the flow in pipes and can cause untreated wastewater to back up into homes and businesses, resulting in high costs for cleanup and restoration. In extreme cases, manholes can overflow in neighborhoods and contaminate local waters, including drinking water.

Communities spend millions of dollars every year unclogging or replacing blocked pipes, repairing pump stations, and cleaning up costly and illegal wastewater spills. This can affect local wastewater rates. Keeping food waste out of the sewer system helps everyone.

To learn more, visit TakeCareOfTexas.org. Pledge to do your part to Take Care of Texas, and we’ll mail you a Texas State Parks: Official Guide.

Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that encourages all Texans to help keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste.

Check out your lifetime impact on the environment and learn how you can make a difference.

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