Family, FOGs, and Fatbergs, Oh My!

Things have been dreary with shorter days and colder nights. But now, one of the most joyous times of the year is here – the holiday season! No matter what you celebrate, the holidays are sure to bring about family gatherings big and small. And with those family gatherings come meals for all… but hopefully not for the Clog Monster.

It doesn’t matter if you’re diving into grandpa’s famous pies or hiding from a great aunt’s casserole, those big meals are sure to have loads of fats, oils and grease. Here at the Responsible Flushing Alliance, we call those FOGs. And they are some of Clog Monster’s favorite “holiday dishes.”

FOGs are often left behind on dinner plates and aluminum baking tins, leaving a massive cleanup job for the holiday host. But there’s one thing everyone should remember if you want to avoid a visit from Clog Monster: NEVER send leftover fats, oils or grease down the drain. These liquids can create nasty films along your pipes. Over time, the buildup will prevent liquids from making it through your pipes, eventually leading to clogs that flood your home.

Instead of pouring out FOGs or rinsing them off dishes, grab a can that can handle hot liquids to contain the mess until it cools. Then, dispose of the can in the trash. You can even gather up the little ones to create their very own FOG can, using our latest activity book!

What Happens if I Already Sent Fats Oils and Grease Down the Drain?

Oh no! Mistakes happen, and there’s no reason to put yourself down over an oversight on a hectic holiday. Instead, you can use your knowledge to better prepare for the next gathering. You can even spread the word to your friends and family about proper FOG disposal.

Meanwhile, the fats, oils, and grease you did release will most likely end up in your local sewage system. Here, they will congeal with other non-flushable products to create a Fatberg. Fatbergs are cement-like masses that must be removed by wastewater professionals. They can get caught in filters and damage our wastewater infrastructure, which requires taxpayer dollars to repair.

Want to prevent fatbergs from forming in the first place? While you should avoid draining FOGs in the sink, the bathroom is another place for preventative practices. Never send non-flushable products down the drain, such as baby wipes. If you’re ever unsure if a wet wipe belongs in the toilet, you can check for the “Do Not Flush” symbol on packaging!

Together, you and your family can create memories that are sure to be brought up at the next family gathering. One thing we recommend: don’t let one of those stories involve a clogged toilet!

Happy Holidays from your friends at the RFA!

The Responsible Flushing Alliance is leading the way with its #FlushSmart consumer education campaign. RFA is dedicated to keeping homes and communities healthy through proper flushing practices. This includes supporting clear and prominent labeling of all items that should not be flushed, including promotion of the “Do Not Flush” symbol on non-flushable wipes.

For more information, go to http://www.flushsmart.org or @flushsmart on Twitter or Facebook.

About Responsible Flushing Alliance

The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to consumer education focused on what not to flush. RFA’s goal is to change consumer behavior to help reduce damage to our nation’s sewage systems caused by objects and materials not designed to be flushed.