Tips for Proper Disposal of Cooking Fats

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Written by Board Secretary

On December 18, 2019

(by Aqua Virginia via Lake Committee)

Aqua Virginia reminds customers that they play a role in ensuring their local wastewater system operates properly, from the pipes that run from their homes and businesses to the treatment plant itself. This holiday season, Aqua offers customers the following tips for the proper disposal of fats, oils, and grease:

  • Never pour cooking grease down sink drains or into toilets.
  • If you have leftover cooking grease, carefully pour the warm, not hot, grease into a metal can, wait for it to cool, and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Keep strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids.
  • Scrape food scraps and grease into a trash can.

Garbage disposals do not keep fat, oil, and grease out of plumbing systems or prevent clogs, and common ingredients like butter, lard, sauces, and dairy products can all contribute to blockages. Homeowners should also avoid flushing any wipes down the toilet, even if they are labeled as flushable. Wipes don’t break down and are a leading cause of backups in home plumbing, and they can contribute to larger blockages in wastewater systems, too.

Aqua Virginia President, John Aulbach, said fat, oil, and grease may go down your drain as liquids, but over time they become solids that clog household plumbing and wastewater collection systems. “We want to make sure our customers are prepared around the holiday season to not only avoid a mess, but also the cost of repairs,” said Aulbach.

Fat, oil and grease can also clog a household grinder pump, which is a mini sewage-pumping station with one pump for an individual home. Grinder pumps are used where gravity sewer lines cannot be used. The single pump sits inside an underground tank and pumps wastewater produced in a home into the sewer line.

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