FOG is an acronym for Fats, Oils, and Grease… not exactly an appealing topic, I know. Before you throw everything but the kitchen sink INTO the kitchen sink, there are a few things you should know. I would like to share my point of view as a plant foreman at ReWa on how FOG can have such a negative effect on so many things if improperly disposed of.
When fats, oils and grease are poured down the drain in your home, it can cause you as a homeowner to have a substantial expense when it hardens in the piping and causes a major backup in your home. In addition to this problem, the grease then travels into the collection lines (sewer lines) and causes major buildup as it cools and catches debris. This causes ReWa and subdistricts alike to have the same problem. Routine maintenance and repair becomes needed more often and takes a toll on the staff that performs these routine cleanings. What’s left of the FOG residue then enters the water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) at ReWa and can cause blockages in the equipment. This can also be very costly and time consuming to fix.
In order to alleviate environmental problems, wastewater agencies must devote considerable resources to removing grease from the sewer lines.
You may ask, what is considered FOG? Well, there are many things that you may not think of as fats, oils or grease, but you should avoid putting them in your sink. Just to name a few: dairy products, meats such as bacon or hamburger meat, soups and sauces, and cooking oils such as olive oil.
As an alternative to pouring your grease down the drain, we at ReWa offer grease cans to the general public for proper FOG disposal. They are free, and all you have to do is pour the FOG into the bag within the can to let it cool and trash it. This prevents the FOG from entering the piping in your home, collection lines and ultimately the WRRFs here at ReWa.
Education is so important because people do not realize what FOG can do to the pipes in your home and to the local environment when it causes a back-up in the sewer lines or facilities. My advice is to be conscious of what you pour down the drain because it can definitely come back to haunt you in the future.
By Joe Ortiz, Pelham Facility Foreman at Renewable Water Resources (ReWa)