Ways to Avoid FOG This Holiday Season

“Fats, oils, and grease, OH MY!”


To your septic system, these three ingredients are just as scary as lions, tigers, and bears.


Known in the industry as “FOG,” fats, oils, and grease are a septic system’s worst enemies. As the holiday season gets underway, and you are cooking more and having friends and family over to enjoy the festivities, it can be a big challenge to your septic system.


Follow these tips to avoid FOG this holiday season, so you can thoroughly enjoy time with loved ones without the worry of a scary septic situation.


Where does FOG come from?

First, it’s important to understand where FOG comes from. The list of fats, oils, and grease that can damage your plumbing and septic system include some obvious and less-obvious items, such as:


  • Meat fat from bacon, sausage, poultry, and beef
  • Butter and margarine
  • Cream-based sauces
  • Salad dressings
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dairy products – milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese
  • Cooking oils


You and your guests might not think twice as you clear the table and do the dishes, rinsing off plates and mixing bowls that contain these items. A good rule of thumb is to scrape all table scraps into the trash before rinsing plates in the sink and sending fats and oils down the drain.


Alert Your Guests

Family and friends who only visit a couple times a year, or come to stay with you from out-of-town, may not even remember you have a septic system. They might be used to stuffing anything and everything down the kitchen garbage disposal at their homes.


Remind them that your septic tank wasn’t built to handle dairy products, turkey skin, and cooking oils.


These items and other foods that don’t disintegrate easily are notorious for disrupting the bacteria in your septic tank. When food and waste don’t break down, they become an overload of sludge, clogging up your septic system.


Fats, oils, and grease can stick to the inside of sewer pipes, slowing drainage from every sink, toilet, and washing machine in your home.


If this happens, instead of celebrating the holidays, you might be making emergency calls to your plumber or septic tank professionals. And, let’s face it — nobody wants that to happen during the most wonderful (busiest) time of the year.


The only way you can get FOG out of your septic system is to have it pumped out and cleaned. It won’t take care of itself.


A simple list of septic system “dos and don’ts” can save the day, help avoid plumbing disasters, and let everyone rest a little easier while visiting your home.


Be Proactive with Regularly Scheduled Maintenance

If you’ve been professionally servicing your septic system on a regular basis, and having it inspected for potential problems, then it should be in good shape for the upcoming holiday season. A healthy septic tank will be ready to handle the extra water usage and waste disposal without a glitch.


However, if you can’t remember when you last had your septic system serviced or inspected, you could be in for a potential disaster.


Proactive maintenance can save you headaches, time, and money, and keep your septic system functioning optimally all year long. That way, when the holiday season arrives, you’re prepared and don’t have to give it another thought, aside from reminding your guests about fats, oils, and grease.


Have questions about FOG, or want to schedule a septic tank inspection before you begin trimming the tree? Give us a call at 480-607-7763 or contact us online anytime.


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