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Area utilities remind residents to properly dispose of fats, oils, and grease—clogging culprits—this holiday season

Nov 7, 2017

From stinky sinks, to sewer backups, to water main breaks, the improper disposal of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) can be costly for homeowners and area utilities.

With the holidays and lots of home-cooked meals around the corner, COG and its water utility partners on the Community Engagement Campaign (CEC) are reminding residents of the perils of putting meat fats, cooking oils, dairy products, and other food scraps down the sink. According to the CEC’s Protect Your Pipes initiative, grease can clog the sewer system “much like bad cholesterol and fatty acids clog arteries in the human body.” And, when wastewater is unable to flow out into the sewer system, it can cause blockages (even massive “fatbergs"!), sewer backups, and property damage.

The CEC reminds residents to remember the 3 C’s of sink safety: Cool, Contain, Can/Compost.

Cool: Let grease cool and solidify in your cooking pot/pan

Contain: Scrape FOG and excess food scraps into a secure, sealable container, like a peanut butter jar. Before washing, wipe down pots and pans with a paper towel

Can/Compost: Throw the full container of FOG and your paper towel into a trashcan. If possible in your home, start composting food and vegetable scraps instead (don’t compost grease).

Learn more about protecting your pipes this holiday season, and year-round at

FOG Clogs: Keep Pipes Peaceful this Holiday Season (Arlington County)
Proper Disposal of Fats, Oils, and Grease (Prince William County Service Authority)
Stuff the Turkey, Not Your Drains (DC Water)

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