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It’s That Time of Year Again: This Thanksgiving, Make Sure to Keep Fats, Oils, and Grease Away From Your Drains

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“It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love…” are the words to a popular Christmas song, and, as Thanksgiving approaches to kick off the holiday season, these nostalgic song lyrics make us think of festive gatherings, extra houseguests, and a smorgasbord of delectables.

While Thanksgiving is often synonymous with football and eating too much pumpkin pie, it can also mean a big challenge for your septic system to keep up with all the extra goodies. When you’re enjoying your spiced apple cider by the fireplace this Thanksgiving, remember to keep fats, oils, and grease away from household drains.

Fats, oils, and grease are culprits for future septic system problems.

Extra houseguests and preparing a spread that is traditionally the biggest meal of the year can be challenging for your septic system. Your guests may not realize they shouldn’t be putting everything down the garbage disposal, especially fats and grease that can clog your drains and disrupt the bacteria in your pipes and septic system.

Fats, greases, and other hard-to-break-down foods (like turkey skin and meat scraps) can lead to the accumulation of sludge in your septic tank. When the natural bacteria that break down waste can’t keep up with the overload of the Thanksgiving feast, it can create problems well into the holiday season, so you could be celebrating New Year’s Eve with plumbing problems.

Simply put, your septic system is built to break down waste and toilet paper, but not much else.

Fats, oils, and grease (known as “FOG” by professionals) accumulate in your drains and septic tank when you discard things like:

  • Cooking oils
  • Butter and margarine
  • Meat scraps
  • Salad dressings

FOG is not only difficult for your system to break down, but it can cause drain clogs and messy back-ups – certainly not things you add to your list of holiday fun!

Why regular maintenance is so important.

If you’ve been keeping up with your regularly scheduled septic tank maintenance, you have a better chance of steering clear of plumbing problems during your first big gathering of the season, but the best way to prevent fats, oils, and grease build-up in the system is to be extra careful. Before a problem occurs, avoid putting potentially damaging ingredients down your drain in the first place.

Remind guests, or anyone else who’s helping you prepare the meal or clean up afterward to:

  • Pour cooking grease into a can and throw it in the garbage
  • Wipe off greasy plates with a paper towel before loading the dishwasher
  • Put meat scraps in the garbage, not the garbage disposal
  • Avoid putting anything that’s hard to break down into drains

Follow these simple guidelines for a healthy, happy, Thanksgiving – for both you and your septic system – and we’ll all be decking the halls instead of dealing with clogged drains, well into the new year.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a septic tank inspection, there’s still time to prepare before the big day. Schedule your inspection today with the experts at Paradise Valley Septic. Or, give us a call with questions: 480-607-7763.