Don't Wash Turkey

This 2009 file photo shows a Thanksgiving turkey in Concord, N.H. Food safety experts say raw turkeys shouldn’t be rinsed, since that can spread harmful bacteria.

With the holidays here, Indiana American Water is reminding customers not to invite FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease) clogs to your gatherings.

Along with turkey, gravy, and all the trimmings come fats, oils, and grease that, if poured down the drain, can adhere to the insides of pipes, causing clogs that lead to sewer overflows and backups.

Neither dishwashing detergents nor garbage disposals can properly break down these materials, which build up over time. This buildup of grease can restrict the flow of wastewater, or worse yet, block the homeowners’ or utility’s sewer pipes.

“As many of us are celebrating with family and friends this holiday season and spending more time in the kitchen over the next several weeks, we encourage our customers to be very careful about what they are putting down their drains,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine.

“FOG can cause costly backups in home drain and sewer systems and also adversely affect the environment if the overflow enters rivers, lakes, and streams.”

Customers can reduce blockages by properly disposing of FOG and not washing it down the drain. Defend your drains and prevent FOG clogs by following these simple tips:

  • Never pour grease into sinks, toilets, or down drains.
  • Allow the grease to cool and use a rubber scraper to remove the fat, oil, and grease from cookware, plates, utensils, and cooking surfaces. Then place the grease in a sealed container and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Install baskets/strainers in the sink drain to catch food scraps and empty them into the garbage.

Please keep in mind that garbage disposals do not prevent grease from washing down the drain. Also, detergents that claim to dissolve grease may pass it down the line and cause problems in other parts of the wastewater system.

  • Finally, the holidays typically mean more guests in the home and trips to the bathroom. Flushing baby wipes (even those that are labeled flushable or biodegradable) and paper towels down the toilet has become an issue in some areas. Wipes should be tossed in the trash.

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