FOG is created when fats, oils, and grease enter the drainage system, mix with food and other sanitary waste, then congeal and harden in the pipe. In addition to unpleasant odors, FOG-related blockages can result in sewer overflows due to reduced capacity or burst drain and sewer pipes. To avoid blockages, problematic sewer lines require frequent jetting and chemical usage to disperse FOG. Unfortunately, this can cause problems with lift stations and sewage pumps downstream.
Once FOG reaches the wastewater treatment plant, it can cause further issues because grease is more difficult to biologically degrade than other common components of municipal sewage. FOG can congeal and form deposits on the surface of settling tanks, digesters, pipes, pumps, and sensors. Grease may also partially block screens and trickle filter systems, clog sludge pumps, increase sludge volume and, in large volumes, inhibit the activity of sludge digesting microorganisms.
The most effective solution to unclog the fog is to ensure that FOG is stopped at the source and does not enter the wastewater system.
Here are some ways you can help at home:
-Scrape food scraps into the trash, not the sink.
-Wipe pots, pans, and dishes with dry paper towels before rinsing or washing them, then throw away the paper towels.
-Place a catch basket or screen over the sink drain when rinsing dishware, or when peeling or trimming food, to catch small scraps that would otherwise be washed down the drain. Throw the scraps in the trash.
By changing the way we dispose of our food, we can all do our part to protect our pipes.