Posted on: November 22, 2016

Dispose of fats, oils, and grease properly over the holidays

The Charleston Water System (CWS) is reminding customers to properly dispose of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) this holiday season. While many holiday cooks think pouring FOG down their kitchen sink is an easy and harmless disposal solution, doing so can lead to messy and expensive backups in home plumbing and the sewer system. CWS recommends disposing of FOG in the household trashcan.

Grease cools as it travels through pipes. Over time, the accumulation of grease can block pipes, and other fatty substances contribute to clogs. If internal plumbing backs up due to FOG, the homeowner is responsible for all clean-up and associated repair costs!

Some helpful tips:

  • After cooking, let grease cool in the pan to harden. Afterwards, scrape the hardened grease into a disposable container (like a tin can) to be thrown out.
  • Wipe out pans before washing them with a paper towel, and then throw it away.
  • Use a kitchen sink strainer to keep other food items out of the plumbing system.
  • Don’t use hot water to make FOG drain more easily through your plumbing system. FOG will quickly cool, harden, and cause back-ups in your home or the sewer system.

If you use “flushable” wipes to clean up after dinner, dispose of those wipes in the trashcan. While many products’ labels indicate they can be flushed, these wipes can cause serious back-ups in your home and the sewer system. A handy rule of thumb is to only flush the “Three Ps”—pee, poop, and (toilet) paper.

More information on “what not to flush” can be found online at