Fats, Oils and Grease
Sewer backups and overflows are frequently caused by fats, oils and grease being placed into the sewer system by customers. Because these items are lighter than water, they accumulate in the sewer pipes, similar to how cholesterol builds up in the body’s blood stream and arteries until a blockage occurs. The backup could result in damage to your property or it could overflow into the storm drain causing environmental damage to our rivers and streams.
Tips for preventing sewer backup
- Don’t put greasy food scraps down the kitchen sink or garbage disposal. Instead, always use a paper towel or rubber spatula to thoroughly scrape and swipe plates and pans into the garbage can before washing.
- Don’t pour melted oils used for cooking down the sink or garbage disposal. Let them solidify in a container on the counter or in the refrigerator. Then place them into the garbage.
- Don’t pour fats, oils and grease from cooking down the toilet or into any drain in your home
- Don’t use the sewer as a means to dispose of food scraps.
- Don’t pour fats, oils, and grease in the storm drain of your street because they pollute the environment
Vegetable and meat scraps, rice, salad dressing, butter, shortening, cooking oils and many other common culinary delights eventually block your sewer. Garbage disposals use large volumes of water. Reducing or eliminating use of your garbage disposal will lower your water and wastewater bill, resulting in savings.
Call us first when you have a backup. Most sewer backups occur between the house and the city’s sewer main, where the property owner is responsible for correcting the problem. If you do experience a sewer backup in your home, call the Water Department at 817-392-4477 before calling a plumber. A crew will make sure the blockage is not in the city-owned sewer main. Once we determine the problem, you will be notified if you need to call a plumber.
Owners & operators of restaurants and other commercial facilities need to visit the City's grease abatement web page for more information.