By Cassie McClure
Published in Las Cruces Bulletin 12.3.21
It’s getting cold outside, and the brief warmth that your drains might get from a flow of hot grease from your turkey will not add to the holiday cheer at your house. In fact, it may add some stuffing to your drains that you didn’t intend.
Any time fats, oils, and grease – known as FOG by those at Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) – go down the drain instead of into the trash, the FOG cools down, solidifies, and catches all the other things that also going down the drain, ultimately clogging the pipes.
“Just like shortening liquifies when heated then returns to a solid as it cools, the FOG that goes down your drain leads to clogs in the sewer lines of your residence as well as the city main lines,” said LCU Interim Deputy Director Wastewater Laura Montoya. “The FOG combines in our pipes and at our lift stations and can end up as massive fat clogs at the wastewater treatment facilities.”
Drippings off a holiday turkey, bacon grease, or thick sauces, all of these should be sopped up and placed in the trash when they are cool. If not, it could lead to costly sewer problems that can start with backups in your house and end with a larger problem in the neighborhood or even with nearby businesses.
The way to properly dispose of FOG is to pour greasy and oily waste into a container, let the FOG cool, and dispose of it in the garbage. One easy way is to take a sheet of aluminum foil, place it into a small pot, and mold it into a little bowl. Carefully pour the FOG in and wait for it to cool and harden. Then, fold over the ends of the aluminum sheet and toss it in the trash.
Lastly, pots and pans should be scraped of FOG before being washed or tossed in the dishwasher (which also leads to the drain). Greasy paper towels and wipes should also be disposed of in the trash and not into the toilet.
LCU Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: las-cruces.org/180/Utilities For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO 1: Grease from cooking is a hazard to your pipes! Let it cool and throw it in the trash.