SANTA BARBARA — The city of Santa Barbara has issued a warning to residents, advising against the pouring of fats, oils and grease down sewer drains that could cause overflows or blockages.
Fats, oils and grease — FOG — is one of the leading causes of sewer issues throughout the country.
The city’s warning comes after city wastewater staff responded to a heavy amount of FOG at a sewer pump station and removed approximately 300 pounds of semi-solid grease before it caused equipment or system blockage issues, said Madeline Wood, water conservation supervisor for the city.
“Pouring FOG down the drain can create obstructions in your private sewer lateral, public sewer mains, and creates serious problems like blockages and sewer overflows,” Ms. Wood said in a news release. “As the FOG material cools down, it begins to stick to the sewer pipes and other materials in the sewer system. Over time, a FOG buildup can cause maintenance issues on sewer pump stations, or clog an entire pipeline and result in sewer overflows in your property or the community.”
Response and repairs for such incidents could cost residents and the city thousands of dollars, Ms. Wood said.
The city offered the following tips to prevent FOG-related issues:
- Do not pour cooking oil, greasy food, dairy products or salad dressing down the drain.
- Use strainers in the sink drain to catch food scraps and other solids.
- Do not use hot water and soap to try to wash FOGs down the train. It will eventually cool and harden in the sewer lines.
- Pour FOG into a disposable container, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and place in your freezer. Once frozen, toss it in the garbage.
- Mix FOG with absorbent materials such as coffee grounds or cat litter and throw in the trash.
- Wipe or scrape FOG from pots, pans and dishes into the trash can before placing them in the sink for washing.
- And use a paper towel to wipe excess FOG from pots, pans and dishes and toss it in the garbage.
For more information on the city’s FOG program, visit santabarbaraca.gov/fog or call 805-568-1005.