Don’t Put Your FROG in the Drain
Wastewater from restaurants and other food service industry is often problematic due to the prevalence of conventional pollutants such as; grease, organic matter and solids or rags such as “flushable” wipes. Grease and debris can clog and overload the water reclamation system. Processing grease and food contaminants raises the cost of treating wastewater; and debris can clog pumps and sewer lines completely.
Fats, rags, oil, and grease can create an obstruction in the sewer lines and in sewer pumps. When sewer lines are clogged, the wastewater finds the path of least resistance and can come out into a sink or bathtub creating unsanitary conditions in a home. Sewer obstructions also clog the pump stations that carry wastewater to the City wastewater treatment plant. When wastewater comes out of a pump station or a manhole it gets into our rivers, streams, and ponds. This causes illness in animals and people; and harms plant life. Please keep Fats, Rags, Oil & Grease (FROG) out of the sewer system.
Where Does The FROG Come From?
These are common sources of fats, oil, and grease:
- Cooking oils
- Meat drippings
- Milk, butter, ice cream, and other dairy products
- Soups, sauces, and gravy
- Mayonnaise and salad dressings
These are common sources of rags:
- “FLUSHABLE” wipes
- Baby Wipes
- Paper Towels
- Cleaning wipes
- Shop towels and rags
Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) Pollution Prevention
What Can I Do to Help Keep a Sewer Back-up From Happening at My House?
- Recycle used cooking oil. You can cool vegetable-based cooking oil and place it in a coffee can, empty cooking oil bottle, Mason jar or other container and then make a trip to one of these locations: 3701 S. Elm Pl. or the M.E.T Recycle Center at 302 N. Elm Pl. The M.E.T. will recycle your cooking oil as well as the container but you will need to take the container home with you if you go to the South Elm location.
- Use as little cooking oil as you can, and reuse the oil until it is spent. This will save you money and limit the amount of oil that must be disposed of.
- Scrape and wipe pots, pans, and dishes with a paper towel before washing. Do not pour fats, oils, and grease down the sink or garbage disposal. Every little bit helps!
- Cool fat and grease and pour into an empty vegetable can. Once hardened place in the trash and start a new can. *Meat drippings, bacon grease, and fat should always be thrown it in the trash and not into the recycle bin because they are considered a different type of waste than vegetable-based cooking oil.
- Compost your vegetable-based cooking scraps instead of putting them down the drain. Throw away any other kitchen scraps. Any solids that go down the drain can get stuck in sewer lines, especially when there is grease build-up present.
- A helpful tip is to buy only enough food for your family to eat in a one-week period. Spoiled or expired food products often get poured down the drain and begin to create grease build-up on the sewer lines.
- Another helpful tip is to prepare only enough food for your family to eat in one night. Leftovers often get poured down the drain and create grease build-up on sewer lines.
- Wipes and other sanitary items made with cotton should not be flushed. Even if they are sold as “flushable”, the products do not break down or dissolve. They clog the sewer lines as well as sewer pump stations.
Does Your Home Have a Backwater Device or Backflow Preventer?
City of Broken Arrow Municipal Code Section 24-303 requires all new homes as well as all homes in which “the lowest floor of the building which is served by a sanitary sewer is less than one foot in elevation above the upstream manhole rim of the same sanitary sewer system” to have a backwater device or backflow preventer. These devices are installed on a homeowner’s sewer line, are designed to keep sewage from the municipal sewer system from backing up into the home, and are the homeowner’s responsibility to install and maintain. If your home was built before 1982 it might not have a backwater device or backflow preventer. A licensed plumber can tell you if you already have this device, or if you need to have one installed.
For more information contact:
City of Broken Arrow
485 North Poplar Avenue
Broken Arrow, OK 74012
918-259-7000 ext. 7220