Eliminating Fats, Oils & Greases from our Sewers

What kinds of problems do Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) cause?

Grease going down the drain can cause serious problems in our sewers. Just as grease clogs your arteries, it clogs the local sewer arteries.

As Fat, Oils, and Grease (FOG) travels through the service lateral and enters the sewer system, the FOG will solidify and cause blockages and stoppages that can cause the sewer to back-up into your building or other buildings on the same line. FOG can also lead to sewer backups and may result in property damage.

Where does grease come from?

Fats, oils and greases are a byproduct of cooking. They are found in such things as:

  • Meat fats
  • cooking oil
  • Lard and shortening
  • butter and margarine

When grease is washed down the drain, it sticks to the inside of sewer pipes (both on your property and in the streets.) Over time, it builds up and can block an entire pipe.

Garbage disposals do not keep grease out of the pipes, they only shred it into smaller pieces. Commercial additives, including detergents that claim to dissolve grease, may pass it down the line and cause problems away from the source.

The results of a grease-blocked sewer pipe can be:

  • Sewage overflows in your home or your neighbor's home
  • Expensive and unpleasant cleanup that often must be paid for by the property owner. The average cleanup cost is about $3,000 which does not include replacing carpets and repairing walls.
  • Possible contact with disease-causing organisms
  • An increase in operation and maintenance costs by the Towns of Barre Wastewater Treatment System, which causes higher sewer bills for customers.


How can I dispose of any Fats, Oils and Greases?

Allow the product to completely cool after use. Hot fats, oils and greases can cause severe burns if mishandled. 
Dry wipe or scrape pans, pots and plates prior to washing them. Put the wiped/scraped food material into the trash for disposal. Limiting what you put down your drain will help to keep your sanitary service flowing freely and working properly.