Martin Co. officials: Keep oil, grease away from drain

WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Fats, oils and grease – things that can stay in your kitchen, but away from your drain.

“Eventually you’ll have a blockage,” said public works director, Kerry Spivey. “And when you do the sewer is not able to flow down the lines and it will spill over man holes or other places like ditches. Often times people feel the need to wash with warm water…wash oils and greases out of their pots and pans down the drain, thinking warm water will keep it flowing.”

But warm water can only do so much, causing sewer lines to clog.

“It’s almost like a milkshake – too thick to pump,” said Gene Reed, wastewater treatment plant supervisor. “It can also cause health issues. You don’t want raw sewer running around. That’s why you have waste water treatment plants.”

Pouring fats and oils down the drain not only causes problems for your kitchen, your sewer system, but the entire facility.

“One of the best analogies to a wastewater treatment plant is your body. Food comes in, you digest it and you waste it. That’s what this plant does,” said Reed.

Adding oils and fats down the drain, will make their jobs even harder.

“We are required to clean 10 percent of our total mileage of our sewer lines every year,” said Spivey.

Waste water treatment plants not only collects your sewage, but also turns your waste into a recycled product –  for both farm land and the Roanoke River.

“We don’t do this every day, we do this about every 12 to 15 months. And it’s about 100 to 135 trucks,” said Reed.

“[Oils] may cause oxygen depletion that may result in fish kills and just polluting the river in general,” said Spivey. “And these are things we want to avoid, the state wants to avoid. And I’m sure the community wants to avoid. “

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