District News Articles

  2. Fats, Oils, and Greases aren’t just bad for your arteries and your waistline; they are bad for sewer pipes as well.  Sewer backups and overflows can cause health hazards, damage home interiors, and threaten the environment.  An increasingly common cause of sewer overflows is pipes blocked with grease.  Grease gets into the sewer from household drains as well as poorly maintained grease traps in restaurants and other businesses.
    Grease can come from many sources, including meat fats, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter and margarine, dairy products, sauces, and food scraps.  Grease products are frequently washed into the sewer system through a kitchen sink.  The grease coagulates on the inside of sewer pipes and, over time, builds up until the pipes become completely plugged.
    Garbage disposals do not remove grease from the plumbing system.  They only chop solid materials into smaller pieces and do not prevent grease products from flowing down the drain.  Commercial additives, including detergents, that claim to dissolve grease may allow grease to pass down the pipe causing problems in other areas.
    Grease buildups can result in sewer stoppages which can lead to backups in homes and businesses.  They can also cause sewage to overflow the District’s system resulting in environmental contamination.  Finally, they result in increased operating costs due to the necessity for more frequent sewer cleaning operations.
    How You Can Help
    Homeowners and restaurant operators can assist the District in the following ways:
    1.                 Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets.
    2.                 Scrape grease and food scraps from plates and pots and pans into a can or trash for disposal.
    3.                 Do not put grease down garbage disposals.  Put baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids and dispose of them in the trash.
    4.                 Advise your children, friends, and neighbors about the importance of keeping grease out of sewers.  Call the District if you have any questions.

    Restaurant Operators

    1.                 Install a grease trap if one does not exist.
    2.                 Maintain grease traps by having them cleaned and inspected periodically.
    3.                 Never put solids into drains that release into grease traps.
    4.                 Be cautious of chemicals and additives that claim to dissolve grease.  Some of these products merely pass the grease further down the District’s sewer system.

    To obtain a free brochure titled Fat-Free Sewers:  How to Prevent Fats, Oils, and Greases from Damaging Your Home and the Environment, please call Alyssa Quinn at the Platte Canyon/Southwest Metropolitan District office at (303) 979-2333.