Stuff the Turkey, Not the Sewer

VOORHEES, N.J.–The start of the holidays begins this Thursday with Thanksgiving, and that means lots of cooking and eating. It also means that cooking fats, oils and grease, if poured down the drain, can lead to sewer overflows and in the worst cases, cause sewer backups for homeowners.

Many of our favorite Thanksgiving foods contain fats, oils and grease — including turkey, dressing, sauces, baked goods and dairy products. Fats, oils and grease are sometimes poured down the sink or into garbage disposals, but neither dishwashing detergents nor disposals are able to properly break down these materials.

“It may seem like the most efficient way to dispose of oil and grease is by pouring it down the drain, but these methods can wreak havoc on sewer systems,” said Michael Roberti, statewide sewer production manager at New Jersey American Water. “We encourage our customers to follow these tips in order to keep home plumbing and sewer system lines clear for a more enjoyable holiday season.”

New Jersey American Water is encouraging its customers to use proper methods to dispose of fats, oils and grease. The company offers the following tips:

  1. Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets.
  2. Pour fats, oils and grease into an empty jar or coffee can.
  3. Allow the grease to cool and solidify, then throw the container in the trash.
  4. Install baskets or strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps.
  5. Scrape food scraps and grease from plates, pots and utensils into the trash.

For more information about wastewater tips and treatment, check out the infographic on the company’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages @njamwater.

New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.7 million people. More information can be found at With a history dating back to 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. The company employs 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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