Grease Management

Disposing of grease in your sanitary sewer may cause backups!

The City of Penticton's Public Works Department is noticing excessive grease build up in the sanitary sewer infrastructure. Grease can cause major problems and over time will build up and obstruct pipe flows causing sewage to begin to back up which may cause sewer overflows into your home or your neighbors'.

Grease from cooking oil, lards, shortening, butter margarine and other cooking products disposed of down sinks, toilets and other plumbing fixtures solidifies when it cools causing grease build up and eventually blockages.

Steps that can help solve this problem:

  • Do not dispose of fats oils or any other types of grease down sink garbage disposals or drains including sinks toilets or floor drains.
  • Small amounts of grease can be poured into small water tight containers and disposed with regular household garbage.
  • Wipe grease from pots and pans with paper towel before placing them in sink or dishwasher.

Grease Management for Your Home

Fats, oils, and grease can cause serious problems for your sewer collection systems. Sewer back ups can cause damage to homes, health hazards and threaten the environment. Sewer pipes blocked by grease are an increasingly common cause of overflows. Grease gets into the sewer from household drains.

Where does grease come from?

Fats, oils and grease are a natural consequence of cooking and can also occur naturally in many foods. Grease is the common term for animal fats and vegetable oils. It can be found in such things as:

  • Meat Fats
  • Lard
  • Cooking Oil
  • Butter and Margarine
  • Shortening
  • Food Scraps
  • Baking Goods

What are the consequences?

Grease is frequently poured down the sink drain because the warm fats and vegetable oils are lipid and can be poured. It may not appear harmful but as the liquid cools, the grease solidifies and causes buildup inside the pipes, becoming a hardened mass. The build up restricts the flow of sewage and clogs the pipes.

The implications can be:

  • Raw sewage backing up into your home.
  • An unpleasant and expensive cleanup at your expense.
  • Raw sewage overflowing into parks, yards and streets.
  • Potential contact with disease causing organisms.
  • Increased cost for local sewer departments, which causes higher sewer bills for customers.

Each year the City of Penticton spends considerable time maintaining sewer infrastructure and attending to blocked pipes caused by grease buildup.

What can you do?

The easiest thing you can do is keep grease out of the sewer system in the first place.

  • Never pour grease down the sink drain or into the toilet.
  • Scrape grease and food scraps into a can or the trash disposal.
  • Do not put grease down the sink garbage disposal. These units only shred solid material into smaller pieces and do not prevent grease from going down the drain.
  • Use a strainer in the sink to catch food scraps and other solids.
  • Speak with your friends and neighbours about the problem of grease in the sewer system and how to keep it out.
Thank you for your cooperation! For more information please call the City of Penticton Public Works Department, at 250-490-2500.