• Kitchen

    Have a kitchen? Then you may need to worry about the F.O.G.

    F.O.G. stands for FATS, OILS, and GREASES. They hide in many places like baked goods and pastries, lard, butter, cream-based sauces, dairy, and gravy. Oils are fat in its liquid form, found in vegetable oils, margarine, and salad dressing. This also includes motor oil. Greases are made of meat drippings, greasy foods, etc.

     

    Why is F.O.G. bad?

    When fats, oils and greases enter the wastewater or septic system, it cools, solidifies and sticks onto the sides of the pipe. Over time, more layers build until the line is completely blocked, causing back up which can lead to clogged drains and toilets, raw sewage backing up into your home and environment, expensive clean up, repairs and replacements, unpleasant odors, and potential public health risks.

     

    What should you do?

    • Pour cooled grease into a container with a lid, like an old jar or yogurt tub and throw it in the trash.
    • Use a towel to wipe the rest of the grease or oil from cookware and bakeware.
    • Scrape all food scraps into the trash.
    • Use a strainer in the sink to collect excess food particles.
    • Encourage your neighbors to do the same.
    • Keep grease traps clean and maintained.
  • Do not enter when flooded

    Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. While flooding can cause significant property damage, flash floods form quickly and can become very dangerous and even life-threatening. A flash flood is the rapid flooding of low-lying areas such as washes, rivers and streams.

    Flash floods can occur when there is heavy rain upstream or large amounts of meltwater from snow and ice in high regions. It is important to have a basic knowledge of flash flooding.

    • Find out the risk of a flash flood in your area, including increased seasonal risks.
    • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, washes, and other areas where water passes. Flash floods can develop even when there are no visible clouds in the sky.
    • Do not walk through moving water if possible. If you must, walk at an angle to the stream flow. Do not walk directly with the flow, or directly perpendicular to it. Move to the side as soon as you can.
    • Do not drive into flooded areas, even if you think the water looks shallow. Depths can be tricky to judge and swift moving water can lift a car, truck, or SUV and carry it away with even if it is only a few feet deep.
    • If you find yourself stuck in floodwaters and can do it safely, abandon your vehicle and move to higher ground.
    • Be aware that some states have a penalty fee for having to be rescued from a flash flood in areas marked with flood warning signs.

    Be smart and stay aware of the times of the year most likely to produce flash flooding. For more information on flash floods and other safety hazards check with your local counties.

  • Proper Disposal of Chemicals, Medications and Disposables


    Chemicals and medications are difficult and costly to remove during the wastewater treatment process. Some of them cannot be removed and end up back in streams and groundwater. It is important to properly dispose of the items below.


    Medications:

    Unused medications shouldn’t be kept where they might be abused, but flushing them down the drain is not a good option. By flushing them, they dissolve and become very hard to remove from the water, introducing the chemicals back into the environment. They also have the potential to create drug-resistant viruses and bacteria. The FDA recommends crushing unused medications up with small-grained waste and throwing it in the trash.


    Cleaning chemicals:

    Like medications, these chemicals are very hard to remove during the wastewater treatment process. Many also have the potential to corrode pipes. Check the instructions on the back of the container to find out how to best dispose of chemicals. Also check with your local county for hazardous chemical collection dates.


    Bathroom Wipes:

    Bathroom wipes — those thick, moist towelettes — are advertised as flushable and can, in fact, be flushed down the toilet. Once in the sewer system, however, studies have found they don’t break down. Instead they contribute to clogs in the pipes and pumps, requiring costly repairs. Other clogging culprits include baby wipes, paper towels, make-up removing towels, disinfecting wipes, and feminine products. These should all be disposed of in the trash.