If you run a restaurant or other commercial kitchen, you know the amount of grease generated in just one day of cooking can be enormous. Even a small amount of grease can be harmful to your sewer system, let alone commercial kitchen levels of grease. Luckily, there are alternative ways of getting rid of grease other than pouring it down the drain and forgetting about it.
What’s the Problem with Grease in your Sewer System?
When you pour leftover grease from cooking down your sink drain, you are introducing a damaging substance to your sewer system. Grease leaves residue on your pipes and congeals with other waste particles further down the line, causing blockages. These blockages lead to sewer backups, floods, and contamination of your sewer system that requires costly repair.
Fatbergs and FOG
Unlike an iceberg, a fatberg doesn’t cause sinking; rather, what slinks down your sink–namely fats, oils, and grease (otherwise known as FOG)–may cause a fatberg. Fatbergs happens when the fatty acids from the grease you pour down your drain bind to calcium in the pipes to create a soap-like substance. These fatty acids are not just from your grease but from everyone’s grease in your whole sewer system network. So large globs of fatty acid combine with each other and with pipe calcium and can create fatbergs literally the size of a vehicle! These fatbergs are incredibly damaging and dangerous to the sewer system in your whole city. It takes a team of people to climb down into the sewers and, sometimes over the course of weeks, break up the fatbergs. Can you imagine if that was your job? It sure isn’t the most glamorous way to spend your workday! So keep your pipes clear by getting rid of FOG appropriately.
What Do You Do If Grease Accidentally Gets Down Your Drain?
Fatbergs are more likely to form in an area with several restaurants or apartment buildings, where there is much more grease waste per square footage than in an area with individual homes. Grease traps help catch much of the greasy waste left from cooking. If you don’t have grease traps or if some grease gets down the drain anyway, you can rinse your drain out with boiling water in order to keep the grease from solidifying, and even add some vinegar and baking soda to help break down any solidified pieces.
Hidden Grease and How to Dispose of It
Grease leftover from cooking is obvious, but did you know grease can be found in a variety of foods? Salad dressings, mayonnaise, cheese, frosting, and even milk carry harmful grease. It is best to scrape these items into your garbage can than pour them down the drain. If you have grease left in your cooking pan, let it cool down so it congeals and becomes easier to throw away.
Go Grease Fightin’: You’re Not The One That I Want (In My Sewer System)
If you do experience a sewer backup in your home, place of business, or building, you need an experienced plumbing service like A&L Cesspool to clear out the FOG and get the water in your home or business flowing freely again. We will also pick up your used cooking oil so it can be reused as fuel. In fact, we run the only waste transfer station for grease in New York City. Contact us if you are looking for top service!