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Prevent Sewer Backups this Thanksgiving

INDIANAPOLIS – The smell of your Thanksgiving feast will soon fill your home, but fats, oils and grease filling your drain could cause a sewer backup. Fats, oils and grease (FOG) can be found in many Thanksgiving favorites like fried food and baked goods.

"When washed down the sink or drain, FOG builds up and can create blockages which ultimately lead to sewer backups,” said Jamie Dillard, Director of Wastewater Operations at Citizens Energy Group. “Sewer backups are not only a health hazard, but they can cause significant property damage.”

Each year, approximately 80 sewer blockages are caused by FOG. While the majority of the incidents happen during the summer months, the problem usually starts during the holiday season when FOG is washed down sinks. FOG starts as a liquid and then solidifies and attaches to the sewer system’s pipes and joints.
Reducing FOG is easy to do and starts at home:
  • Pour FOG into a small container. Once the liquid solidifies, place it in the garbage. Grease that doesn’t solidify should be disposed of at an Indianapolis ToxDrop site. For a location, visit www.indy.gov/ToxDrop.
  • Use a paper towel or napkin to wipe grease off pots, pans and dishes before washing them.
  • For restaurants or other food preparation establishments, FOG can be a valuable resource as a recyclable. FOG can be sold to rendering companies for use in soaps, fertilizers and animal feed.
Citizens aggressively responds to sewer blockages in order to restore and maintain sewer service. Responding includes removal of FOG blockages and investigating where the FOG originated. Homeowners should be aware investigations can result in fines, penalties and the cost associated with FOG removal and sewer cleaning. For more information about FOG, visit CitizensEnergyGroup.com.

About Citizens Energy Group

Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 800,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities only for the benefit of customers and the community. Additional information is available online at Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - YouTube

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