Fats, Oils and Grease

Cooking Grease Clogs Pipes InfoGraphic

Know what to do with fats, oils and grease

Many of us do more cooking for gatherings and events during the holidays. The excess fat, oils, and grease (FOG) can coat and clog pipes and cause your sewer line to back up into your home. 

If you are on a septic system, cooking oils can clog your pipes or drain field. These backups and clogs can result in expensive clean up and repair costs.

Fats, oils, and grease get into sewer pipes from dishwashers, garbage disposals, washing pots and pans and from being poured directly down the sink. 

Rinsing fats down the drain with hot water and detergent doesn’t really work—the grease just moves a little farther down the pipe. When it cools, it coats the inside of your plumbing.

Common FOG sources: 

  • Cooking oil
  • Meat fats
  • Sauces and gravies
  • Shortening and lard
  • Butter and margarine
  • Salad dressing
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dairy products
  • Food scraps

To prevent any or all of these problems, dispose of your leftover cooking oils, fats and grease properly.

A little bit of grease from plates and cooking utensils can’t be avoided, but you can reduce the amount of grease going into your sewer pipes by following these simple guidelines:

  • Never pour oil or grease down the drain.
  • Scrape grease into a disposable container and put it in the garbage. (Hint: freezing will make it mostly solid.)
  • After scraping, wipe out pans with a paper towel to remove the last of the grease and put the paper towel in the garbage.
  • Scrape plates and put greasy food scraps in the garbage instead of running them down the garbage disposal.
  • Throw coffee grounds into your compost or the kitchen trash.
  • Keep strainers in your sink to catch solids before they go down the drain.
  • Pierce County and City of Tacoma residents can dispose of used cooking oil free of charge, even large amounts from deep-fat turkey fryers, at the city’s hazardous waste center.
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(253) 798-4050

24-Hour Sewer Emergency: 
(253) 798-7000

Media Contact:
Akiko Oda


[email protected]

9:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.
Closed all major holidays

Mailing Address:

9850 64th St. W

University Place, WA