It’s a warning that’s been around for years and one that the Town of Unity Public Works Department wants to reiterate; never poor grease down your drains under any circumstances.
Unity’s Public Works director Collin Field said while the town has not had any instances where this has been a cause for concern in recent years, top of mind awareness about the potential dangers of disposing of grease down pipes is important.
“People get the idea that when they pour hot grease down the sink and flush it down with hot water that it will stay in a liquid form and away it goes,” Field said. “However when it (grease) hits the pipes in the sewer laterals and the (water) mains, the water in there is very cold so it solidifies quite quickly and creates blockages and issues for infrastructure staff.”
Field added the town has not had any issues in recent years but his department is trying to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to this issue which has created huge headaches for other communities.
“Doing this sort of thing is not helpful to our infrastructure which ultimately translates into cost,” he added. “If we have to bring in a sewer-jetting truck to flush lines or if we have to dig up lines for repair or replacement then that cost gets passed onto the taxpayers.”
Field said the community has been fortunate so far not to have run into issues with clogged sewer pipes thanks in part to their annual sewer flushing program.
“We have been able to nip any issues in the bud early on,” Field said. “A few summers ago we had an instance where we had brought in equipment to flush a main and a large straw-like piece of grease came out by a manhole and had to be removed.”
Fields estimated the blockage was six to seven feet long and roughly seven inches in diameter.
He also warned that it is not only stove grease that can cause issues in plumbing; body oil can also build up over a period of time and create havoc in your homes.
Disposal of household grease is easy. Most websites say the proper way to get rid of fats, oils, or grease is to let the liquid cool then pour into a container and put in your household garbage. Make sure all containers are sealed tight so there is no risk of leaking into your garbage bags.
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