Will the Grease of Christmas Past Haunt You?

The holiday season is a time for family, friends and feasting. When you’re working in the kitchen this year, remember that while fats, oils and grease (FOG) add flavor to your vegetables, figgy pudding and roast beast, FOG can cause problems when poured down your drain.

If we’ve learned anything from the Grease of Christmas Past, it’s that FOG congeals in pipes and sewer lines, restricting or blocking wastewater flow. A predictable spike in the number of grease-related blockages and backups occur following the holiday season. Plumbers report that during the holidays, they experience up to a 50 percent increase in the number of service calls they receive. Local sewer departments deal with elevated levels of FOG in their sewer infrastructures. As a result, year after year, towns and cities proactively issue community warnings on how to responsibly handle FOG disposal during the holidays.

Managing Your Grease

Choosing the convenience of rinsing FOG down your drain with hot water or extra soap only guarantees that it will solidify further down your pipes, septic system or sewer lines. You won’t know just how far until you are gifted with slow-moving drains, unpleasant smells or septic/sewer backups.

So this year, avoid an encounter with the Grease of Christmas Past by making sure the Grease of Christmas Present is treated properly:

  • Don’t pour grease, cooking oil, pan drippings or sauces down the drain. The best way is to collect it in a jar or can and place it in the trash.
  • Wipe down your plates, pots and pans with a paper towel before washing them in the sink or dishwasher.
  • Don’t dispose of food scraps with your garbage disposal. Instead, collect peelings and trimmings for disposal in your trash. Food scraps can easily combine with FOG and create blockages more quickly.

Efforts to keep FOG out of your drains helps to keep plumbing, septic systems and sewer lines working well. Take a little time now and in the years to come to ensure that the Grease of Christmas Past won’t eventually return to haunt you.