It’s the law to properly dispose of grease, according to federal and state mandates.*Federal and State regulations The city’s wastewater pretreatment ordinance is designed to help citizens meet federal grease disposal regulations.
*40 Code Federal Regulation 403; Section 307, Clean Water Act; City Ordinance No. 4577
Where Grease Comes From
Most of us know grease as the byproduct of cooking. Grease is found in such things as meat, fats, food scraps, dairy products, lard, cooking oil, shortening, and sauces. It is often washed into the plumbing system through the kitchen sink.
Grease sticks to the insides of sewer pipes, both on your property and in the streets. Over time, the grease will build up and block the entire pipe. Garbage disposals do not keep the grease out of the system. These units will shred solid material into small pieces and do not prevent grease from going down the drain.
Fats, oils and greases aren’t just bad for your arteries and waistline; they’re bad for sewers, too. Sewer overflows and backups can cause health hazards, damage home interiors, and threaten the environment. An increasingly common cause of overflows is sewer pipes blocked with grease. Grease enters the sewer from household drains as well as from poorly maintained grease traps in restaurants and other businesses.
Grease-blocked pipes result in:
- Raw sewage overflowing in your home
- An expensive and unpleasant cleanup that often ends up costing the homeowner
- Raw sewage overflowing into parks, yards, and streets
- Potential contact with disease-causing organisms
- An increase in operation and maintenance costs for the local sewer department, resulting in higher sewer fees to the customer
Grease Traps or Interceptors
Restaurants, large buildings (such as apartment complexes), and other commercial establishments may have grease traps or interceptors that keep grease out of the sewer system. For a grease trap or interceptor to work correctly, it must be properly designed (sized and manufactured to handle the amount that is expected) installed (level, vented, etc.), and maintained (cleaned and serviced on a frequent basis).
How You Can Help
The easiest way to solve the grease problem and help prevent sewer overflows is to keep this material out of the sewer system.
- Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets
- Scrape grease and food scraps from trays, plates, pots, pans, grills, and cooking surfaces into a can or the trash for disposal
- Do not put grease down garbage disposals
- Put baskets or strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids
- Empty the baskets or strainers into the trash for disposal
- Speak with your friends and neighbors about the problem of grease in the sewer system and how to keep it out. Call your local sewer system authority if you have any questions