Cooking grease washed down the kitchen sink can cause severe property damage and pose a significant health risk to the community. Fats, oils and grease are common byproducts of cooking and enter the sewer system through kitchen sinks and floor drains. These materials stick to the inside of sewer pipes on private property and the inside of the City’s sewer mainline, eventually causing blockages, backups and sewer overflows.
Sewer blockages and overflows on private property are extremely costly to repair and clean up. Sewer blockages can also attract vermin, creating serious health hazards. Businesses may face health code violations and closures, which can significantly affect business operations. Overflows on the public right of way can enter the storm drain system where the sewage is carried to local beaches, creating a dangerous public health hazard and exposing the City to large regulatory penalties.
The best way to avoid sewer blockages and overflows caused by fats, oils and grease is to keep them out of the sewer system by implementing the following preventative measures at your home or business.
- Install a grease interceptor. Make sure that the interceptor is designed to catch the amount of grease you anticipate creating.
- Maintain the grease interceptor in working order. Have the interceptor cleaned and serviced as often as called for by the manufacturer.
- Dispose of left over food in the trash. Scrape food from all serving, eating and cooking surfaces into the trash for disposal instead of washing it down the drain, putting it down the garbage disposal or flushing it down the toilet. Use baskets or strainers to catch left over food.
- Be cautious of chemicals or additives that claim to dissolve grease. Soaps, detergents or other products may not be effective in dissolving grease and may simple pass grease down pipes so that it can clog the sewer system in another area.