Throwing fats, oils and grease down drain could lead to San Diego sewer issues

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO – With the holiday season fast approaching, the city of San Diego is reminding people not to dispose of fats, oils or grease down the drain.

Fats, oils and grease may clog pipes and over time cause a complete blockage which could lead to a sewer spill. These sewer spills have the potential to reach San Diego’s bays, rivers and beaches, causing unsafe conditions and temporary closures.

To help keep your plumbing and sewers as clear as possible, here are some reminders.

  • Recycle large amounts of residential cooking oil or grease by disposing of it at the Miramar Landfill Recycling Center, 5165 Convoy Street
  • If any cooking oil or grease goes down your drain, immediately flush with cold water.
  • You may also throw any excess grease away in the trash.
  • Oils also come from salad dressings, butter, bacon fat, meat drippings, milk and mayonnaise.

In addition, here are some important facts about how grease affects the sewer system.

  • Cooking grease coats pipelines similar to the way that fatty foods clog human arteries. The grease clings to the inside of the pipelines, eventually causing complete blockage.
  • Costly home plumbing bills are often the result of grease-clogged pipelines.
  • Residential pipelines clog easily since they are only 2 inches to 4 inches in diameter.
  • Many people are unaware that pouring hot water and detergent down the drain only breaks up grease temporarily.
  • Flushing grease down the toilet also causes sewer backups.

The city posted more information about grease spills on their website.