Delicious meals bring families and friends together during the holidays but don’t let a clogged drain spoil your plans this holiday season. Pouring cooking Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) down the drain (intentional or unintentional) can cause major sewage backups, clogs and overflows.
Instead of pouring holiday cooking grease down the drain, save it in a container and bring it to Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD) for proper recycling.
This year ISD celebrates nine years of collecting FOG at our facility. The program runs year-round, however, the District opens for a special Saturday collection, this year on Dec. 14 for easier access for those who work during the week.
“Please do not put Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) from cooking down the drain. This can build up in the sewer system and may lead to overflows. Instead, save the cooking grease in a container and bring it to ISD for recycling,” said Tyson Zimmerman, assistant general manager of ISD.
FOG can cause serious sewage issues and costly repairs for homeowners. Clogged pipes can also overflow into homes, yards, streets and the Delta. Everyday washing of plates, pots, pans and cooking equipment – such as turkey fryers – sends FOG down the drain, which over time will eventually build up in the sewer system.
While FOG may not seem harmful as a warm liquid, once it cools, it’s a different story. As the liquid cools, the fat, grease, and oil congeal causing major blockages not only in your pipes but also in the public sewer system and interior pipes. FOG collects in the piping system over time and can be the cause for major system problems and breakdowns for Ironhouse Sanitary District.
Here are five ways you can fight holiday FOG
- Keep your house sink drains fat-free. Cool it, can it and recycle it at ISD. Pour cooled fats, oils, and grease carefully into a container with a lid on it.
- It’s not just FOG. In addition to fats, oils and grease, FOG also includes meat fats, lard, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps and dressing.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Food scraps containing FOG belong in the trash. Even if you have a garbage disposal in your sink, leftover FOG from cooked substances can build up and leave your pipes in need of major cleaning and possibly a costly plumbing bill.
- Scrape your plate. Scrape all your remaining food scraps from your plates, pots, pans and fryers into your trashcan before you wash your dishes. Avoid the garbage disposal and use something as simple as a strainer in your sink to catch unwanted food scraps. Prior to washing your plates and cooking supplies, use a paper towel to absorb excess FOG and toss it in the trash.
- Recycle FOG. Did you know that Ironhouse Sanitary District has a FOG recycling program and residents and small businesses can drop of cooking fats, oils, and grease at our FOG building at our Main Offices in Oakley? ISD works with a company that collects the FOG from us and recycles it into biodiesel.
This holiday season and all year long give yourself the gift of clogged free pipes and the community the gift of clean water. Put your sink on a fat-free diet. Drop your FOG off at Ironhouse Sanitary District, 450 Walnut Meadows Drive (cross streets Main Street, Rose Avenue, and Districts Way), Oakley.
ISD’s Saturday opening this holiday season takes place on Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information on FOG see ISD’s website at http://