Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) often come from food scraps that are poured down the sink, drain, or toilet.
Fats, oil, and grease accumulate in our pipes and pumping stations along with discarded items like personal or baby wipes, dental floss, and paper towels. These materials stick to the inside of sewer pipes and reduce water flow, which can result in sewer backups and overflows. Gross!
Residential plumbing and sewer systems are only designed to process water, water-based liquids, small food particles, pee, poop, and toilet paper.
Baking and cooking grease, oil-based sauces and dressings, mayonnaise, butter, lard, cake frosting, ice cream and food scraps should never be put into your drain! Make sure to avoid doing the same with similar items as well. In addition to food items, avoid disposing of these items in your drains and toilets: flushable wipes, paper towels and napkins, feminine hygiene products, cotton balls, cotton swabs, medications, cigarette butts, hair, cosmetics, latex or rubber, bandages, paints, solvents, sealants, and thinners.
A clog in your wastewater system can become inconvenient, costly, and disgusting—really fast! Because of these clogs, water can’t flow the way it should, which can cause backups and overflows on our streets, parks, and yards. Sewer overflows are unsightly, harmful to our environment, and a public-health hazard. They are also expensive to fix and resolve, costing property owners and the City-Parish government millions of dollars each year.
Toilet paper is designed to quickly dissolve to help it travel in wastewater systems. Despite what the packaging may say, wipes and other “flushable” products do not break down as easily and are a major source of clogs in pipes, helping to cause sewer backups and overflows, or even worse, shutting down pump stations.
You can help stop the FOG with simple steps like remembering to put “bad” items in the trash instead of the sink and canning your grease. Let your grease cool until it is safe to handle, transfer it to a disposable container, and then place the container in a trash bag for your typical disposal.
You can help keep other harmful items out of our wastewater system by using a trash can in your bathrooms. Even if you’re in a rush, FOG and household products should never be flushed down the toilet.
Yes! City-Parish Department of Environmental Services offers free “can the grease” lids to any East Baton Rouge Parish residents. The lids are designed to fit a standard aluminum can. You can request your lid by filling out an electronic form, located here.