With the holiday season upon us, it is a good time to remember the only people we want visiting our homes are family and friends – not plumbers and wastewater professionals. Disposal of unwanted food waste and fats, oils and grease (FOG) down your kitchen drain, dishwasher and garbage disposal can lead to overflowing pipes, sewage spills, and emergency calls to plumbers.
Traditional holiday foods such as turkey, ham, meats, gravy, potatoes, sauces, vegetable or olive oils, salad dressings, baked goods and dairy products are sources of FOG. With family and friends celebrating together, it often means bigger meal preparation and cleanup with a lot of scraps incorrectly disposed of though pipes that may already be partially clogged and go unnoticed until guests overload the system.
People mistakenly believe their garbage disposal and dishwasher are effective methods of dealing with food and FOG; however, these devices only shred it into smaller pieces or wash it further down pipelines where it hardens in areas which require professional plumbers or wastewater professionals to remove safely.
Grease is one of the leading causes of residential sewer blockages. These blockages can cause costly, unpleasant sewage overflows that can damage our homes, and potentially find its way into our local waterways damaging local fish and wildlife habitat.
Delta Diablo reminds customers that prevention is the best way to tackle an unpleasant FOG experience in your home, and offers tips for this holiday season and throughout the year to reduce overflows, backups and clogs:
•Never pour FOG down kitchen sinks, garbage disposals or into toilets.
•Keep a heat-proof container in your kitchen to capture all FOG after cooking. When cooled, safely secure it and bring it for proper disposal at the Delta Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.
•Scrape grease and food scraps from plates, pots, pans, utensils and grills into a compost receptacle or the regular trash before washing.
•Wipe pots, pans and plates with paper towels to capture any leftover grease before handwashing or placing into dishwasher.
•Use a strainer or place paper towels over the kitchen drain to help keep grease and food scraps out of your plumbing system. Home garbage disposals and dishwashers do not help, not even with running hot water.
For more information about safely disposing of FOG, or services provided by the Delta Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, please visit www.DeltaDiablo.org or call 925-756-1990.