December 15th, 2015

Pennsylvania American Water Reminds Customers that Happy Holidays Start with the Proper Disposal of Fats, Oils and Grease

With the start of the holiday season around the corner, Pennsylvania American Water reminds 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.

“We encourage our customers to cease the grease this holiday season and avoid putting FOG down the drain,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran. “FOG can cause costly backups in the home and sewer systems and adverse effects on the environment if the overflow enters our rivers, lakes, and streams.”

The good news is that blockages caused by grease are preventable. 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; 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!

Pennsylvania American Water is conducting a holiday-themed awareness campaign throughout the season and beyond on the importance of FOG-related disposal. For more information about the campaign, or more information about FOG disposal, follow Pennsylvania American Water on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit our website,

Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.4 million people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Western Pennsylvania
Gary Lobaugh
External Affairs Manager

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