Grease: Why It's a Problem

Grease is singled out for special attention because of its poor solubility in water and its tendency to separate from the liquid solution.

Problem with Oil/Grease in Pipes

Large amounts of oil and grease in wastewater can cause problems in collection system pipes. Grease sticks to the insides of sewer pipes, both on your property and in the streets. This decreases pipe capacity and, therefore, requires that piping systems be cleaned more often and/or replaced sooner than otherwise expected. Oil and grease also hamper effective treatment at the wastewater treatment plant.

Any type of grease, whether from businesses or residences can cause serious problems that may result in raw sewage backups and overflows in your homes or in the street. Sewer overflows pollute our rivers and streams. They increase our risk of coming in contact with disease-causing organisms. They also raise the cost of operation and maintenance for sewer lines and wastewater treatment.

Residents can help reduce these risks by following these simple dos and don'ts.


  • Collect cooking oil and grease in containers and dispose of it properly. 
  • You can bring used residential cooking oil to the City's Waste Disposal and Recycling Center at no cost.
  • Keep grease out of wash water
  • Place food scraps in a waste container for solid wastes
  • Remove oil and grease from kitchen utensils, equipment, and food preparation areas with scraper/towels/broom


  • Pour oil or grease down the drain
  • Use hot water to rinse grease off surfaces
  • Use the drain as a means to dispose of food scraps
  • Wash fryers/griddles, pots/pans, and plates with water until oil and grease are removed

Nonwovens:  Why are they a problem?

The vast majority of nonwoven products (even those labeled as “flushable”)  do not readily decompose in the sewer system. Nonwovens alone, or along with improperly disposed of cooking oils in the sewer, can cause major problems. A clog can have a bigger impact than you may think, causing Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) in your community or even your own home. Your water and sewer funds are used to deal with this problem! Dispose of items properly in the trash and eliminate the problem!

Remember that the drain and toilet are not a trash cans!