Don't FOG up your holiday with a plumbing disaster. Learn how to deal with Fats Oils and Greases.

Every day is a good day to practice proper disposal of grease products, but as the holidays often mean that Fats, Oils and Greases are showing up in kitchens more than usual.

The build-up of grease in the plumbing system creates sewer back-ups and overflows that can damage your home and the environment. Grease washed down the kitchen sink sticks to the insides of sewer pipes both on your property and in the streets. Over time, the build-up can block the entire pipe resulting in sewer back-ups and overflows.

A "back-up" can mean a flood of raw sewage into your home or yard, exposing you or your family and neighbors to disease-causing organisms. The unpleasant and expensive clean up is usually paid for by you, the homeowner. Local sewer departments also incur increased maintenance and clean up procedures that can result in higher sewer bills for customers.

By following these simple guidelines, home and commercial property owners can make a significant difference in preventing sewer back-up and overflow by keeping grease products out of the sewer system.

Guidelines for Homeowners:
1. Do not pour grease products down sink drains or into toilets. Grease products include meat fats, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, baking goods, sauces, and dairy products.

2. Scrape grease and food scraps from trays, plates, pots, pans, utensils, grills and cooking surfaces into a can or the trash for disposal.

3. Do not put grease products down garbage disposals. These units are for shredding solids and do not prevent grease from going down the drain.

4. Be cautious of chemicals and commercial additives (including soaps and detergents) that claim to dissolve grease. Some of these additives simply pass grease down pipes where it can clog the sewer lines in another area.

5. Place baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids and empty the baskets/strainers into the trash for disposal.

6. Speak with friends and neighbors - especially in shared living situations like apartments and condominiums - about the problem of grease in the sewer system and how to keep it out.

7. Never pour grease down a storm drain or catch basin. 

Visit our Wastewater Sewerage Pretreatment page to learn more.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call: Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans' Environmental Affairs Department at (504) 942-3855.

If you experience a back-up in your home anytime, call our 24 hour Emergency Hotline at 504-52-WATER. (Please note, you will need to remove the cap from your 6 inch cleanout so crews can assess the problem and flush your lines.) 

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