Tips for disposing of fats, oil and grease

Holiday cooking can lead to clogged sewer lines


The Centennial Water & Sanitation District is asking customers to properly dispose of fats, oils and grease instead of putting them down the drain this holiday season.

According to information provided by Centennial Water, butter, gravy, cooking oil and salad dressing all fall into the category of a fat, oil or grease. As a liquid, they look harmless, and many people dispose of these substances down the drain. When they cool, however, they become thick and sticky, adhering to the pipes of our sewer system and potentially causing clogs, basement backups and sewer overflows.

“Thanksgiving and Christmas are the times of the year when families are busy in their kitchens cooking their holiday meals, producing a significant amount of fats, oils and grease, oftentimes dumping them right down their kitchen drain,” said Thomas Hecker, superintendent of field operations for Centennial Water. “We are asking customers to dispose of gravy, sauces and oil properly and keep them out of the sewer system.”

Fats, oils and grease get into the sewer collection system mainly from residential customers pouring substances down their drains. Fats, oils and grease are a byproduct of cooking. A sample of what they are found in includes:

• Meats

• Cooking oil

• Lard or shortening

• Butter or margarine

• Mayonnaise

• Food scraps

• Salad dressing

“Centennial Water has a sewer line maintenance program to inspect lines and manholes on a routine basis,” said Hecker. “But we need the homeowners’ help to keep FOG (fats, oils and grease) out of the sewer lines, preventing clogs and backups in the system.”

What can you do?

1. Wipe. Remove grease from pots, pans and dishes with a scraper or paper towel and discard it in the trash.

2. Pour. Discard cooled cooking oil or grease in a secure container. Use a metal can to collect the grease such as a coffee can, vegetable or soup can. Never pour it down the drain or garbage disposal.

3. Trash. Put all cooled, discarded cooking oil or grease in the trash.


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