Fat Free Sewers
Ever wonder why your sewer lines backup or you see manholes overflowing? Many of these problems are caused by the disposal of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) into the sewer system. To help prevent expensive sewer backups, plumbing emergencies and public health issues, the City of Odessa is asking its residents to follow a list of do’s and don'ts.
- Dispose of large amounts of FOG, by mixing clay cat litter, a little at a time, with the FOG. When all of the FOG has been absorbed, pour the cat litter into a trash bag, seal the bag, and dispose of it with your regular trash.
- Recycle used cooking oil or properly dispose of it by pouring it into a sealable container, allowing it to solidify or absorb it with cat litter or paper towels and placing the sealed container in the trash.
- Scrape food scraps into the trash, not the sink.
- Use strainers in sink drains to prevent food scraps from entering the sewer system.
- Wipe pots, pans and dishes with dry paper towels before rinsing or washing them.
- Pour FOG, including salad dressings and sauces, into your drains, the toilet, the alley, or gutters.
- Put grease or greasy food into the garbage disposal.
- Rely on commercial additives in detergents to dissolve grease. They only pass it down the line where it causes problems in other areas.
- Use cloth towels or rags to scrape plates or clean grease dishes. When they are washed, the grease will go to the sewer.
- Use hot water to rinse FOG from the dishes and pots and pans. As the water cools, the FOG will solidify and clog the pipes.
Clogged pipes, whether in your household plumbing or in the sewer system, are a major nuisance and a public health issue. In fact, Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) from the collection system must be reported to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as a violation of the wastewater discharge permits they issue. We are therefore, asking our residents to help us make our sewers “fat free” so that we can reduce the number of SSOs which occur in our collection system. Your help will be greatly appreciated!