Thanksgiving waste doesn't go down the drain, Edmond city officials warn

Edmond officials are asking people not to put extra oils, fats and grease down the drain because that could cause problems like sewage backups and overflows into homes.
by Diana Baldwin Published: November 17, 2012
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Extra oils, fats and grease that come along with the Thanksgiving cooking shouldn't be sent down the drain because that could cause utility service problems in city neighborhoods, city officials are warning.

No matter how much hot water is poured into the drain, the unwanted cooking waste could clog up the sewer system, causing sewage to back up or overflow into homes, said Keith Stewart, Edmond's field services superintendent.

City crews see more clogged lines around Thanksgiving and Christmas when families are preparing large meals, Stewart said.

“When it gets around the holidays, there are more fried foods and lots of oil and grease and more problems and sewer backups,” Stewart said.

Clogged lines often occur at night or on holidays, which causes crews to be called out after hours and paid overtime.

Crews must respond to collapsed lines and lines clogged with debris like roots and branches, and grease.

If there are too many reports of sewage overflows, Stewart said, state Department of Environmental Quality officials can fine the city or mandate that extra reports be filed with the state agency.

Edmond was put on notice in 2006 by the agency, but not fined. City officials were required to make special reports about the maintenance of city overflows until 2011.

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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