Fats, oils, grease no good for drains

Published on Wed, Nov 18, 2009 by Emily Resch, Birch Bay Water & Sewer

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The City of Blaine and Birch Bay Water and Sewer District are encouraging their customers to avoid pouring fats, oils and greases (FOG) down the drain.  FOG is an expensive problem for community public wastewater treatment systems and can be a public health hazard if it causes overflows in the sanitary sewer collection pipes. 

Common household sources of FOG are food scraps, meat fats, lard, oil (frying, salad, cooking), margarine, butter, baking goods, sauces and dairy products.  Improper disposal of these common sources can lead to FOG accumulating inside sewer pipes.  As the FOG hardens and builds up in piping, it restricts the flow and can cause untreated wastewater to back up into households and businesses – not a pretty sight!  FOG also reduces the capacity and operation of wastewater treatment facilities.  It is very expensive to clean up wastewater spills, unplug or repair clogged pipes and repair pump stations.  Therefore, excess FOG in the sewer system leads to more maintenance and ultimately can cause your sewer rates to increase.

What can you do?  Use strainers to catch food scraps.  Collect any cooking grease in a sealed container for disposal.  Minimize your use of the garbage disposal and put solids directly in the trash.  These simple steps can help Blaine and Birch Bay residents stop FOG from entering sewer pipes and drains and also reduce your individual plumbing costs. 

Proper disposal of FOG ultimately prevents grease build-ups from blocking sewer lines, stops sanitary sewer overflows, avoids costly clean-ups from sewage spills and protects the health of Birch Bay and Drayton Harbor waters.

For more information or further questions, call 360/371-7100.