Fats, oil and greases (FOG) are a major environmental problem, particularly in larger cities. Pouring used or waste cooking oil down the sink or drains can cause waste to congeal and block public sewers. The backed-up sewage can then spill into rivers and streams.
When wastewater cannot make its way through the sewer pipes, it overflows into our homes, streets, lawns and storm drains. Storm drains carry rainwater away from homes, and anything that is thrown on the street goes untreated to our water sources such as our lakes. You can help us keep our water running clean by learning how to dispose of your cooking oil and grease properly.
There are many things that you can do to prevent fats, oil and grease from entering our waterways. It is important to understand not only how you can dispose of oil properly but also how to keep your oil wastage to a minimum.
Untreated sewage effluent and waste oil in the water also causes oxygen levels to drop drastically, sewage fungus covers the bed of the watercourse like a blanket and in more severe cases the river can no longer support fish, insects and animals that live in and around the water. Rats and Vermin also feed from the solidified waste cooking oil which could create a pest control problem or health hazard.
There are many things that you can do to prevent fats, oil and grease from entering our waterways. It is important to understand not only how you can dispose of oil properly but also how to keep your oil wastage to a minimum. Most household plumbing lines are small, and connect directly to pipes that are only slightly larger. When fats, oil and grease are present in these small pipes, they block the sewage flow. A blocked sewer pipe can cause overflow into our homes and streets.
Here are a few simple steps each of us can do to protect our natural environment and keep our water free from fats, oil and grease.
1. The first thing you can do is manage your oil consumption correctly. This can easily be done by testing your cooking/frying oil. The testo 270 cooking oil tester allows you to determine within seconds whether cooking oil needs changing. This will not only make sure you're cooking with clean oil, but is also proven to reduce cooking oil consumption by up to 20%. For more information on cooking oil testing please visit: www.testolimited.com/cooking-oil-testing
Regularly testing cooking oil reduces consumption and therefore wastage
2. The best way to dispose of liquid oils is to take them to your local Household Hazardous disposal service.
3. Alternatively for smaller amounts you can pour liquid oils and grease at room temperature into heat resistant plastic bags or old containers such as plastic milk containers, water bottles, or glass jars. Once the container is full, seal it and throw it away with your regular bin.
4. Scrape fats, grease and food from plates and cooking utensils into the bin before washing them or placing them in your dishwasher. Use basket strainers in sinks to catch any food particles and empty the contents in the bin.
5. Crucially it is important to remember NOT to dispose of any FOG down the drain, no matter how small amount it may be.
- Highlight advances in scientific thinking and technology around FOG.
- Demonstrate new and innovative developments that have led to success in reducing FOG in sewers: looking at technological, communications, and behavioural change.
- Identify the needs for further work, bringing together expertise and understanding of kitchen owners and operators, kitchen designers and installers, solution providers, regulators and water companies.
About the show
Research is being carried out to identify the nature of Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) formation from food service establishments and help tackle the problem of network blockages. As awareness on the FOG problem from food service establishments has increased, further action is needed over the next few years to reduce the problem of FOG getting into drains and sewers.
It is now time to expect producers and users of FOG ‘solutions’ to take responsibility for their products and have a proper assessment of their ‘in service’ performance. At the same time it is pivotal to understand how much we need to keep out of the sewers, and what are the satisfactory levels of FOG removal.
Some countries are using 100mg/L as the maximum FOG content allowed in the sewers. New solutions are also being developed and being implemented in terms of blockage identification and reuse of FOG. For more information on the Fats oils and Greases show please visit: www.britishwater.co.uk/events/fats-oils-and-grease-conference-108.aspx
For more information on cooking oil testing please visit this section of the website: www.testolimited.com/cooking-oil-testing