Home cooking byproducts can cost county money

  • Monday, January 14, 2013

Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday season is fully upon us. And that means food.
Wonderful, tasty, scrumptious food – and its oil and grease byproducts.
It’s the oil and grease that concerns the county’s water and sewer department, and a county staffer made a presentation to County Council on Monday about the county’s F.O.G. – fats, oils and grease – program.
Much of what the county does involves regulation and oversight of restaurants and industry, said Kacy Byrd, pretreatment and technical administrator.
But the county also tries to educate residents about the effects of pouring leftover grease down the drain.
Residents of Dorchester Manor, Kings Grant, Whippoorwill, and part of Woodland Walk in Coosaw Creek have received door hangers with information because the county had to use its vac truck in their neighborhoods to clean out the pipes.
Using the vac truck costs about $220 per hour.
Byrd’s presentation to council included appetite-killing photos of pipes clogged by oil and grease and the resulting sewer overflows – none of the overflows occurred in Dorchester County, Byrd emphasized.
But by looking at the clogged pipes, it’s easy to see how the sewer has to find a way to go somewhere.
Between scheduled maintenance and as-needed cleanings, the county’s goal is to get through its entire, 315-miles system every five years.
Instead of pouring leftover grease down the drain, cooks should pour it into a separate container, like a glass jar or old coffee container, wait for it to cool and then throw it into the trash, the county recommends.
It also recommends wiping pans with a paper towel to capture that last bit of gunk before washing them.
Additionally, food scraps should be thrown into the trash rather than down the drain, the county recommends.

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