Holiday FOG Alert – Clogged Pipes Ahead

Tis the season…. for clogged drains? This time of year means big trouble for wastewater utilities when residents pour fat, oil, and grease (also known as FOG) down the drain where it can harden and clog pipes. The clogs can be expensive to address, but they are easy to prevent.

“The best way to dispose of cooking grease is to allow it to cool and harden before throwing it away in the garbage – never down the drain,” says Scott Buecker, AE2S Wastewater Practice Leader. “Winter is the worst time because the cold temperatures help solidify fats more quickly in sewer pipes. Clogs are costly for utilities to remove and can cause sewage to backup into homes.”  

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) created a website of information about preventing the so-called “fatbergs” from clogging sewers. A fatberg is a combination of FOG plus wipes that don’t break down easily in water like toilet paper does. It is a good idea to remind customers that even wipes marketed as “flushable” can still clog pipes and damage wastewater pumps and treatment equipment.

AE2S created a graphic that can be downloaded for free and shared on social media to alert your community about the smart way to dispose of fats, oil, and grease. Download it here and share it to educate your community.