Grease blob 28 inches wide clogs sewer drains

Crews removed big globs of grease from sewer pipes.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  City officials are asking residents to dispose of grease properly as they clean up from their Thanksgiving meals.

Because of the increased popularity of turkey fryers, leaders say they’ve seen more problems with clogged pipes and sewer drains. Earlier this week, crews removed large globs of grease that blocked a pipe and caused it to back up. One of those globs was 28 inches wide.

“City Utilities spends more than $300,000 dollars fixing problems caused by grease being poured down the drain each year. We use several preventive measures including looking inside our sewers with video cameras and flushing them where we see grease problems so we can break up the grease and stop a backup before it occurs,” said Jeff Morris, Superintendent of Sewer Maintenance.

Fort Wayne City Utilities uses a remote controlled camera to examine 300,000 feet of sewer pipes. Every day the cameras reveal pipes that are not operating at capacity because of grease buildup.


City Utilities uses cameras to examine sewer lines and look for blockages.
City Utilities uses cameras to examine sewer lines and look for blockages.

Instead of disposing of cooking oil and grease by pouring it down the drain, officials suggest people pour cooled oil into a container that can be sealed and then thrown away.

Another idea to reduce the potential for spillage is to add kitty litter, sand, or sawdust to the container before disposing of grease in the trash. The dry material will soak up the grease. Before washing or rinsing dishes, pots, and pans, be sure to scrape any food waste that contains fats, oils, or grease into the trash.

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