New Jersey American Water provides tips for proper disposal of cooking grease to protect home plumbing and sewers

CAMDEN, N.J. – Thanksgiving will kick off the holiday season, bringing friends and loved ones together to celebrate, bond, and most of all eat. Many hours are spent cooking the perfect feast, but not much thought is given to cleaning it all up. Along with turkey, gravy, and all the trimmings comes fats, oils, and grease that should not be poured down the drain.

When washed down the drain, grease and oil can adhere to the insides of the pipes causing clogs that lead to sewer overflows and in the worst cases, sewer backups for homeowners. Neither dishwashing detergents nor garbage disposals have the ability to properly break down these materials, which build up over time. 

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“Fats, oils, and grease are typically liquid when warm but solidify at cooler temperatures,” explains Manoj Patel, Senior Production Manager, Statewide Sewer Operations at New Jersey American Water. “This allows them to pass through your drain in the sink, but once they get to the lower parts of the house drain and cool they turn into a thick sludge that sticks to the pipe interior. Overtime, this causes problems such as sewer blockages and overflows that pose potential health and environmental hazards. We encourage our customers to follow these tips to prevent wastewater blockages.”

New Jersey American Water provides the following tips for handling fats, oils, and grease to ensure clear pipes and sewer system lines:

  1. Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets.
  2. Pour fats, oils, and grease into an empty jar or coffee can.
  3. Allow the grease to cool and solidify before throwing the container in the trash.
  4. Install baskets or strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps.
  5. Scrape food scraps and grease from plates, pots, and utensils into the trash before washing. 

For more information regarding wastewater tips and treatment, view the infographics on New Jersey American Water’s website.