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Don’t Put Fats, Oils and Grease Down the Drain

A clogged pipe with a buildup of congealed grease and waste.

November 21, 2017

With the holiday season upon us, the Calaveras County Water District would like to remind customers that putting cooking fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the drain can cause significant problems for sewer systems. If FOG is washed down the drain, it can can lead to clogged sewer pipes at your home and business, which is the last thing anyone wants during a holiday celebration – not to mention the cost of calling out a plumber. FOG can also create clogs in CCWD’s main sewer lines, which could cause sewer spills.


Please Do Not Dispose of Any Cooking Oils or Grease Down the Drain!

By following the guidelines below you may avoid sewer overflows, backups,
and costly repairs at your home:

  • Never pour liquid grease down the drain.
  • Pour all cooled cooking fats, oils and grease that will harden (bacon grease, meat drippings)
    into a waxed food container such as a milk carton or container with a lid and dispose of it in the
    garbage or your kitchen scrap recycling.
  • Mix small amounts of liquid grease into your kitchen scrap recycling (where available) or place in
    a lidded container with an absorbent material such as cat litter, and dispose of in the garbage.
  • Wipe down greasy pots, pans or dishes with a paper towel or newspaper before washing.
    Dispose of paper in the garbage or your kitchen scrap recycling (where available).
  • Using a paper towel, scrape greasy food scraps from pots, pans, and dishes into the
    garbage, not a garbage disposal.
  • Do not wash grease down the drain or garbage disposal.
A sign prohibiting pouring food or grease down the drain.

Fats, Oils, and Grease are naturally produced during cooking and baking. Never put any of these items down the drain. Common sources of FOG include:

  • Meat fats
  • Lard
  • Shortening
  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Fatty/greasy food scraps
  • Baked goods and pastries
  • Cream-based sauces
  • Cooking oil
  • Oily salad dressing

What happens when FOG are put down the drain?

When fats, oils and grease are put down your drain they can cause many problems further down the sewer pipe. Liquefied grease and fat from animal products will solidify and clog pipes much
like a clog in a human artery. Liquid oils can also coat pipes and contribute to blockages. Blockages may cause a sewage backup into your home, resulting in expensive clean up costs and repairs to
your sewer pipes, home and belongings. Blockages may also trigger an overflow or backup of sewage into streets or waterways creating a public health risk and threatening the environment.

The Calaveras County Water District thanks customers for their help, and wishes everyone a very happy holiday season!

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