Any avid home cook knows that pouring kitchen grease down the drain is a bad idea.
Disposing of grease by dumping it down that drain can lead to clogged pipes and an emergency call to your local septic service. There are several ways to safely dispose of kitchen grease that protect your drains, pipes, and septic tank.
Even a tiny amount of oil poured down the drain can build up and become a much larger problem, eventually wreaking havoc on your septic system. Grease comes in many forms, from cooking with butter, margarine, shortening, vegetable oil, meat fat, and various sauces and dressings. So, it’s crucial that you learn how to dispose of kitchen grease safely if you’re a septic system owner.
Why You Shouldn’t Dispose of Kitchen Grease Down the Drain
After you’ve whipped up a delicious meal, the kitchen sink may be the easiest way to dispose of the remaining grease. However, this is the worst possible way to get rid of the oil. This method can result in expensive repair work once the pipes are clogged and fill your septic tank with an oily residue.
Improperly disposing of grease down the drain can cause clogs once the oil has solidified. Grease, once in your septic tank, does not settle to the bottom of the tank. It can pass through the baffle and clog the filter. These clogs prevent water and waste from draining correctly and lead to backed-up sinks and toilets around the home, or worse, the clogs make it to the drainfield. Additionally, the fatty acids from the grease can also cause corrosion within the septic tank. A double-whammy you don’t want.
But how does the grease hang on and not be flushed out of your system?
Why is Grease Bad for your Septic Tank?
Grease combines fatty acids and glycerol, which solidify once they’re cooled down. And these agents bind to calcium. Calcium is often found on the lining of sewage pipes and septic tanks. Once bound, the grease forms a waxy layer that continues to accumulate more build-up until clogging your system and disrupting the flow of wastewater to and from your septic tanks.
If you’ve already poured grease down your system, don’t panic. If it’s a minimal amount, a healthy septic system can handle it. What you don’t want to do is try out any home remedies (like a large amount of boiling water, dish soap, or a degreaser). Home remedies can cause even more harm to the delicate (but necessary) bacteria in your septic tank.
If you are noticing issues, it’s important to give your local septic company a call. At Advanced Septic Services, we can pump grease from your septic tank to keep it in healthy, working order. But, many grease backups happen in the plumbing that leads to that tank, in those instances, you’ll need to contact your local plumber as well.
Disposing of Grease the Correct Way
When disposing of excess grease, you’ll want to get rid of it in the garbage. In some cases, you may be able to reuse the grease for cooking before you toss the whole batch. Many home cooks choose to set aside a separate container for collecting oil.
To dispose of grease…
1. Allow the grease to solidify in the pan or a separate container
2. If saving the grease for future cooking, keep it in a cool and dry area
3. Once the grease has solidified, scrape it into the garbage can
4. Wipe the pan with a damp cloth to remove any excess greasy residue
If you’re handling a large amount of leftover grease or oil, such as from a commercial kitchen, many systems include a grease trap. You’ll want to ensure you are on top of your grease trap service schedule, as a full grease trap doesn’t offer any help. If your system lacks a grease trap, you can find a disposal site, as many counties do not allow for commercial spaces to dispose of grease with trash pick-up.
It’s essential never to compost grease, as it can attract animals and harm the surrounding environment. Compost piles don’t get hot enough to allow the oil to break down, which may result in the rest of the pile slowly rotting due to the addition of fat.
Greasy Drain Problems? We’ll Solve Them!
Drain problems related to improperly disposed grease are common, and we know how to resolve them. If you accidentally poured out leftover bacon grease down the drain and your sink is now backed up, Advanced Septic Services of Florida can clean your system and pump the clogged grease out.