Kandy, our fearless leader, received a flyer from Johnson County Wastewater. The title was, “Watch for FOG, Avoid the Clog.” She found the information important enough to share as a public service announcement on our blog, so here goes!
FOG is short for Fats, Oils and Grease.
Kitchen waste containing fats, oils and grease, as well as water that has been used to wash cooking equipment, contain waste FOG. When waste FOG is poured down your sink, grease sticks to the inside of sewer pipes where it cools and solidifies. Over time, this layer continues to congeal and build up which results in restriction and even clogging of the wastewater flow.
As these “fatbergs” begin to clog the sewer lines, layers of other non-disposable items (like wet wipes) collect with the fat, resulting in sewer blockages and overflows. These can cause health hazards due to harboring dangerous bacteria including Listeria and E. coli. The scary thing? These grease giants can grow to 6 feet tall, more than 800 feet long and weigh as much as four humpback whales!
What You Can Do
The easiest way to solve the grease problem is to keep this material out of the sewer system.
- Never pour grease or oil down any drain, including your toilet.
- Pour grease into a can or jar that can be thrown away when it cools.
- Use disposable towels to wipe fats, oils and grease from pots, pans and dishware prior to dishwashing.
- Put food waste directly into the trash. Scrape food scraps from pans and plates into the trash for disposal.
- Put strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids… empty then into the trash.
Does Throwing Away Grease Cause Landfill Problems?
Fats, Oils and Grease break down under landfill conditions over time. FOG can cause significant environmental problems when they enter the wastewater system.
And that’s what FOG and Johnson County Wastewater have in common! The two should never mix!