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How to prevent an environmental heart attack

Mar 15, 2012

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is in the midst of an aggressive program to reduce and/or eliminate the fats, oils and grease – or FOG for short – from getting into your sewer system and clogging the sewer pipelines throughout Montgomery and Prince George counties.

The WSSC FOG Program is a two-part “preventive medicine” plan to systematically regulate the food service establishment industry and educate the residential community about the proper treatment and disposal of these ‘cholesterol-type’ materials that build-up and clog sewer pipes resulting in back-ups and sanitary sewer overflows.

What exactly does a clogged sewer pipe look like? Watch this video to find out!

While food services have the greatest potential to produce mass quantities of FOG, the majority of grease-related incidents within the WSSC sewer system are not even located near a food service establishment. And, most of the time, the nearest establishments are in compliance with their FOG capture, treatment and disposal requirements.

This means everyone needs to pay more attention to what they are letting slip down the drain at their home, apartment, condominium or other residence.

The WSSC “Can the Grease” program provides the safe and effective alternative to pouring or disposing of most food items that contain fat, oil or grease down your drain that will eventually either cause a clog in your home, or a raw sewage overflow in the WSSC sewer system.

WSSC encourages everyone to follow these basic ‘best management practices” in their kitchen:

  • Do not pour, scrape, or otherwise dispose of fats, oils, or grease into sinks or drains.
  • Scrape pots and pans prior to washing. Dispose of scrapings via composting or in the trash, as applicable.
  • If the food scrapings include residual oil or grease, pour into a can, cap the can (caps available from WSSC), freeze it so it solidifies, then dispose of the can on trash day.
  • If it doesn’t contain many food particles, collect your cooled fryer oil in an empty plastic carton to be taken to a local recycling center.
  • Do not put food – including liquid food like milk shakes, syrups, batters, and gravy – down the drain.
  • Do not “feed” your garbage disposal; it doesn’t get hungry! This includes pouring grease into it or large quantities of food waste.

Be like the Feasty Boys and do your part to keep our sewers clean. Can the Grease!

Thanks to WSSC Staff (Sandy August, Lyn Riggins and Wayne Ludwig) for contributing this blog.

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