Enjoy the Feast, 
Recycle The Grease

We've all been warned that pouring fats, oils, and grease (FOG) down the drain is bad... but why is it bad?
The answer lies with what happens to these items after they go down the drain. In short, these coking by-products harden and can cause clogged pipes within your home and eventually clogged sewer pipes. To elaborate, it is estimated that fat and oil buildups caused about 47% of the 36,000+ sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) that happen each year in the U.S. Not only does this nasty sewer backup have health and environmental consequences, but it can also be an extremely pricey plumbing problem to fix.

Grease + Sewer = Fatberg

When FOG is poured down your home's sinks, toilets, or drains it begins to travel. The fats, oils, and grease head down your pipes and into the sewers where they meet up with all of the other wastewater in the area. Here is where the nastiness starts but becomes much worse when these greasy globs reach the sewers and merge with everyone else's byproducts.
When sewer levels rise high, these fat blobs glob onto the ceiling of the pipes, creating stalactite-type structures that are sometimes called "fatbergs." These clogs block the sewer line and can cause disgusting and dangerous backups. While drain cleaners might clear out the pipes in your home, the greasy mess just gets washed into the sewers afterward, creating a bigger problem down the line.

​What to do instead?

To avoid grease getting in your drain:

•  Make sure you scrape greasy foods off your plates right into the garbage can instead of your garbage disposal. You should also use a strainer in all of your sink drains so that greasy foods don’t accidentally fall down them.

• ​ For smaller amounts of grease, let it solidify in the pan, then throw the solid grease into the garbage can.

•  Or, once cool and solid, scrape the grease into a re-purposed container. Once the container is full, place it in a plastic bag to prevent leakage, and then throw it in the garbage. Make sure to wipe the greasy pan or dish with a paper towel to soak up any remaining grease. Try to get as much of the grease and oil as possible into the trash instead of the drain.

If you make a lot of grease at one time, like when using a deep fryer, this oil should be collected and then taken to a collection facility where it is usually accepted for free.

Pouring grease down the drain can have disastrous consequences and be a real problem for the environment. Why not start a movement of your own by telling your friends, neighbors, and community about the dangers of grease in your pipes? Or, simply do your part to keep the grease out of the drain. Your pipes and neighbors will thank you.

Recycle your leftover grease here (directions to BRWA facility).


Bedford Regional Water Authority
1723 Falling Creek Road • Bedford • VA 24523

Enjoy the Feast Recycle the Grease - Stand Alone