F.O.G – Sewer Nightmares!

Can we talk about something???  I see you putting that bacon grease down the drain…


Watch the Video Here


What goes down our drains matters! 

  The sewer lines in Seattle are old and were originally made with clay or concrete, both of which have a normal life expectancy of about 60 years.  Most of our sewer lines were installed 70-90 years ago, leaving us with sewers that are long over due for replacement.  With these old sewer lines come problems.   Tree roots can grow into the sewers, causing lines to crack and eventually break.   The years of use and abuse can cause the lines to rust, clog, corrode or even collapse.


What you do matters!

  What we put down our drains and toilets can help or hurt the life expectancy of our sewer lines.  A lot of these pipes are slowly clogging like arteries, with the capacity to pass “materials” through getting smaller and smaller as the years (and flushes) pass by.   The 3 main offenders that are clogging our sewer lines are:

  1. F – Fats.   Leftover pieces of lunch meat.  Mayonnaise.  The more you use your garbage disposal, the more fats are getting into your sewer pipes.
  2. O – Oils.   Salad dressings.  Soaps, body washes and shampoos.  All these things like to cling to the walls of our sewer pipes and add to the clogging.
  3. G – Grease. Don’t pour that bacon grease down the drain.  Maybe put it in an old tin can like your grandma did, then once it has cooled off, toss it in the trash.

Fun fact – As a homeowner, you are responsible for any damage, repairs or replacement of your sewer line all the way up the point where it meets the main city connection.  An average sewer repair or replacement can cost upwards of $10,000.  

  Here is what you can do to help keep your lines clean:
  • Mind what you let go down the drain.   Collect grease, wipe down pots/pans with paper towels before washing them.  Switch to eco friendly soaps and detergents.
  • Run a little extra water.  These days our toilets and showers are dishwashers are so water efficient that the pipes aren’t getting the water flow they need to move the waste through the pipes.
  • Get a sewer scope!   They cost about $250 and can help let you know the overall health of your sewer lines and if you need to do some maintenance to avoid bigger issues down the road.

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