Public Notices

Don’t Let Fats, Oils and Grease Ruin the Feast!

As we prepare for Thanksgiving this week, New Jersey American Water warns customers about the problematic fats, oils and grease (FOGs) that come with cooking large holiday feasts. Failure to properly dispose of FOGs may result in plumbing issues that can really ruin the holiday spirit. So don’t be a turkey – get rid of FOGs the right way!

When washed down the drain, FOGs adhere to the insides of the pipes, causing clogs that can lead to sewer system overflows and sewer backups for homeowners. Neither dishwashing detergents nor garbage disposals have the ability to properly break down these materials, which build up over time.

Even if FOGs and food scraps seem to slip down the drain without a problem, you have no idea what is building up on the other side,” said Manoj Patel, Senior Production Manager, Statewide Sewer Operations at New Jersey American Water. “Once they get to the lower parts of the drain and cool, FOGs turn into a thick sludge that sticks to the pipe interior. Over time, this sludge can eventually cause sewer blockages, backups and overflows, which pose potential health and environmental hazards. This can be easily avoided by following our proper FOG disposal tips.”

New Jersey American Water provides the following tips for handling fats, oils, and grease:

  1. The answer is not at your disposal. No matter how powerful your garbage disposal may be, it can’t prevent FOGs from sticking to your pipes. Never rinse FOGs down the drain.
  2. Strain it, don’t drain it. To keep food scraps out of pipes, install a basket or strainer in the drain and empty the trapped pieces into the trash.
  3. Let’s talk trash. Scrape all food scraps and FOGs from plates, pots, and utensils into the trash before washing.

We’re all excited to kick off the holiday season this week, so don’t let fats, oils, and grease ruin it,” said Patel. “Taking these simple steps to protect your plumbing and our sewer systems will give you one less thing to worry about during the holidays.”

For more information regarding wastewater tips and treatment, view the infographics on New Jersey American Water’s website, and the FOG disposal video on the company’s YouTube channel. A printable poster with proper FOG disposal tips for restaurants and businesses can also be found on the company's website here.

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