The start of the holidays begins this Thursday with Thanksgiving, and that means lots of cooking and eating. It also means that cooking fats, oils and grease, if poured down the drain, can lead to sewer overflows and, in the worst cases, cause sewer backups for homeowners. Many of our favorite Thanksgiving foods contain fats, oils and grease -- including turkey, dressing, sauces, baked goods and dairy products. Fats, oils and grease are sometimes poured down the sink or into garbage disposals, but neither dishwashing detergents nor disposals are able to properly break down these materials. "It may seem like the most efficient way to dispose of oil and grease is by pouring it down the drain, but these methods can wreak havoc on sewer systems," said Don Shields, vice president of Engineering for New Jersey American Water. "We encourage our customers to follow these tips in order to keep home plumbing and sewer system lines clear for a more enjoyable holiday season." New Jersey American Water is encouraging its customers to use proper methods to dispose of fats, oils and grease. The company offers the following tips:
- Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets.
- Pour fats, oils and grease into an empty jar or coffee can. Allow the grease to cool and solidify, then throw the container in the trash.
- Install baskets or strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps.
- Scrape food scraps and grease from plates, pots and utensils into the trash.