Liquid News

Keep Fats, Grease and Other Items Out of Your Drains

The 1927 invention of the garbage disposal has made life easier for many, but Irvine Ranch Water District reminds customers at this time of the year that this important appliance can also cause many headaches if used improperly. In addition, fats, oils and grease, or FOG, poured down the drain is the leading cause of sewer spills.

Despite what you might hear, not everything can go into a garbage disposal. And fats, oils and grease should never be poured down the drain.

Over time, the grease sticks to sewer pipes and when it builds up, blocks the entire pipe, resulting in costly repairs and cleanups.

To prevent problems, here are tips for getting rid of left over cooking grease and more tips on what not to put into a garbage disposal:

  • Place left over grease into containers with lids, such as jars, and place into a trash receptacle for pick up on trash day.
  • Mix oils with absorbent materials, such as coffee grounds, put in a lidded container and dispose with the trash.
  • If cleaning a greasy pan, pour grease into a container and wipe excess grease from the pan with paper towels. Place the towels into the trash.
  • If using a deep fat fryer, mix oils with absorbent material, such as cat litter, or soak up excess oil with newspaper and put into the trash.
  • Do not put rice or pasta down the garbage disposal. No matter how long the appliance runs or how much water is run down the drain, rice and pasta will never break down small enough.
  • Do not put any animal bones, skin or fat down the disposal.
  • Do not put egg shells down the disposal. Contrary to some information out there, egg shells do not sharpen the blades of the disposal.
  • Do not put any kind of stringy vegetables, such as asparagus or celery down the disposal.
  • Peelings or rinds of any kind, such as from potatoes, carrots or those from fruit, should never be put down the disposal.
  • In addition, when using the disposal, put in only small amounts of table scraps at a time.
  • When in doubt, play it safe and put scraps into the trash can.

For more information about the FOG program, please visit our website.

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