To avoid the unpleasant cleanup and costs related to sewer stoppages, City of Wichita officials are raising public awareness that cooking grease and oils should be discarded with household trash. Allow them to cool or set up, or collect them in a small container, before adding them to the trash.
“Just as consuming fat and grease clogs arteries and causes other serious consequences, disposing cooking grease and oils down a kitchen drain can lead to sewer line stoppages, which are potentially costly,” Bill Perkins, Sewer Maintenance Manager for the City of Wichita, said. “Even a tablespoon of bacon grease here and there adds up, until there is a stoppage and serious consequences.”
State and federal regulations require the City of Wichita to report sewer backups into basements and sewage overflows onto the ground. In 2010, 19 of 29 reported overflow and backup incidents were directly related to grease stoppages in residential areas.
Perkins said grease, oils, and fats will solidify in sewer pipes year round, not just during cold months. He adds that sewer stoppages are a factor in the City’s sewer rates.
Larger amounts of fats should be disposed through the Sedgwick County household hazard waste program. The household hazardous waste collection site is at 812 Stillwell (south of McCormick, east of Seneca). Business hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The site is closed Sundays and Mondays.