Pennsylvania American Water Reminds Customers to Defend Your Drains This Holiday Season

Company provides tips for proper disposal of fats, oils and cooking grease to protect home plumbing and sewers

MECHANICSBURG, PA (Nov. 23, 2020) – Tis the season for hardy holiday feasts, which is why Pennsylvania American Water is reminding customers that properly disposing of FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease) is a recipe for preventing costly backups in the home and its wastewater systems. 

Traditional holiday staples like turkey, gravy, and all the trimmings come with 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.

This buildup of grease can restrict the flow of wastewater, or worse yet, block the homeowners’ or utility’s sewer pipes. Neither dishwashing detergents nor garbage disposals can properly break down these materials, which build up over time. 

“We ask customers to not make the mistake of pouring FOG down the kitchen drain after cooking meals,” said Andrew Clarkson, vice president of operations for Pennsylvania American Water. “Taking easy steps to prevent FOG backups can avoid costly backups in the home, our wastewater systems and adverse effects to our watersheds from overflows.” 

Defend your drains and watersheds by following these simple tips to prevent FOG overflows: 

  • 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, flushing wipes (even those that are labeled flushable or biodegradable) and paper towels down the toilet can wreak havoc on wastewater systems. Wipes and paper towels 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 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 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.