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Sewage Grease Could Make for Big Environmental Problems

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RALEIGH — We've all heard that too much grease can clog your arteries. Now, state leaders say too much grease can also hurt sewage pipes. Small amounts from thousands of homes can mean big trouble for the environment.

Alice Thompson could hardly believe the news of a large sewage spill in her neighborhood, caused by pipes full of grease. She recycles her kitchen grease, and finds it amazing that anyone would pour it down the drain.

The City of Raleigh blames household grease, which solidifies as soon as it hits water, for nearly half of its spills last year. State leaders say restaurants are a good example of how homeowners should take care of it.

Nearly all of them use grease several times, and some even sell used grease to recycling companies. It's one less worry for restaurant owners, like Ryon Wilder.

Now, the state wants homeowners to get the message. N.C. Water Quality spokesman Ernie Seneca says that grease can lead to environmental damage.

State leaders say it can cause big problems for sewer systems everywhere. The good news is, it is totally preventable.

The State's Division of Water Quality says that laws about dumping grease vary from town to town. One good way to get rid of old grease is to seal it up and throw it in the garbage.


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