White House Utility District (WHUD), the state’s largest geographic water and wastewater provider, has launched a new FOG Program that’s aimed at keeping fats, oils, and greases (FOGs) out of the district’s wastewater collection system. FOGs, as they’re commonly known, can cause major clogs in sewer lines, as well as residential plumbing lines. They are also highly corrosive and, overtime, can damage some pipes.
“Most people don’t realize the impact that rinsing small amounts of grease down the drain can have – on their own plumbing and on our overall collection system,” said Jack Amburgey, Wastewater Services Manager at WHUD. “But just like they do in the human body, fatty substances stick together and accumulate on the walls of the sewer lines, causing blockages, and eventually, back-ups or overflows.”
To govern the new FOG program, WHUD developed and adopted a policy that outlines grease prevention protocols for large establishments like churches, schools, hospitals and restaurants. Specifically, these types of establishments should have proper collection system protection equipment – grease traps under kitchen sinks and a properly installed grease interceptor between the building’s plumbing and the sewer connection. Establishments should maintain these pieces of equipment and ensure that they are functioning properly. WHUD’s wastewater team will be launching a regular inspection process to monitor grease control throughout its collection system service area, which is intended to help prevent clogs in the collection lines.
“Our hope is that through this program, we can teach people proper grease disposal methods so we can keep our sewers clog-free,” said Kim Klotter, WHUD wastewater coordinator. “It will help our customers prevent plumbing issues in their own homes; it will help us keep our system operating smoothly; and ultimately, it will help protect our natural resources from overflows and potential contamination.”
WHUD will also be working to educate community members through one-on-one communication with residential sewer customers, the sharing of tips through social media, and the distribution of flyers and other educational materials that will provide guidance to commercial and residential customers.