Defend Your Drains from Fats, Oils, Greases and Wipes

Defend Your Drains North Texas | Cease the Grease | NTMWDAt this time of year, we like to remind everyone to Defend Your Drains from fats, oils, greases and flushable wipes that clog up sewer lines and can cost more money for repairs.

More commonly known as “fatbergs” (think iceberg made of fat), these blockages are created when you pour fats, oils or greases (FOG) down the drains or when you flush those so-called “flushable” wipes down the toilet. Once they reach the sewer lines, they clog up together to form a gooey, congealed mess that can block sewer pipelines and cause wastewater overflows into homes, streets and waterways.

Fatbergs pose a public health risk and are costly to repair. In 2013, the largest fatberg recorded was found in a London sewer weighing in at 15 tons and roughly the size of one of London’s iconic double-decker buses. In San Antonio, the battle against flushable wipes rages on as they continue to remove blockages from their sewer system. Removing these blockages can come at considerable expense. Defending your drains protects our pipes, our system, and your wallets.

Top 5 Tips to Defend Your Drains

  1. Defend Your Drains | Cease the Grease | NTMWDRecycle cooking oils – Ideally, cooking oils should be poured into a container and taken to a drop-off disposal center where they can be recycled into bio fuels.
  2. Store and throw away grease – Remember those grease containers your mother or grandmother kept on the counter by the stove? Pour your leftover meat greases into a container and dispose of it when it is full.
  3. Wipe greasy pans clean with paper towels – Many people think they can wash their greasy pans with hot, soapy water and run the garbage disposal to get rid of grease in pans. The truth is that even small amounts of grease can cause blockages and hot water doesn’t help. Once the fat and grease reaches the cooler pipes, it hardens and sticks to the inside of the pipes. Wipe your pans with a paper towel first to remove as much fat and grease as possible before washing the pan.
  4. Do NOT flush “flushable” wipes – Flushable wipes earn their name because they can fit down the toilet drain, not because they are biodegradable. Toilet paper is designed to disintegrate in water, but flushables wipes are designed to be durable. Since they don’t degrade, they get caught up in the greasy lining in wastewater pipes and begin to form fatberg blockages.
  5. Don’t throw trash into the toilet – Cotton balls, paper, q-tips, dental floss and more also contribute to the formation of fatbergs. You shouldn’t put anything other than toilet paper and waste into a toilet.