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Keyword: wastewater

By Gerald Chambers, Baltimore County Department of Public Works

This holiday season, grease is definitely not the word in the kitchen.

Fats, oils and grease (F.O.G.) poured into kitchen sinks can back up the County’s sewage system. Whether you’re the holiday cook or preparing meals in a restaurant, you can help prevent health and safety problems. 

The primary F.O.G. sources are everyday foods such as cooking oil, sauces, butter, and shortening. These ingredients make their way into the sewage collection system through kitchen drains. Once inside the system, fats, oils and grease will cool, harden and begin to coat the inside of the sewer pipes. Over time, F.O.G. buildup will clog pipes, restrict the flow of wastewater and result in sewage overflows and/or basement backups. These overflows result in raw sewage overflowing into our streets, parks and homes, exposing the public to harmful disease-causing micro-organisms. In cases of backups on private property, the property owner is often responsible for the cleanup costs.

Here’s how to “Cease the Grease.”

  • Never pour F.O.G. into your sink. Instead, put F.O.G. into a small can and store in the freezer until full. When it’s full, throw the can into the trash.
  • When there is F.O.G. residue in a pan or on a dish, wipe it with a paper towel before washing and throw the towel in the trash.
  • Place a strainer in the kitchen sink drain to catch food scraps and other solids, then empty the strainer into the trash.

These few simple changes every day can help keep our systems flowing all year long.

Baltimore County’s “Cease the Grease” program was created to help prevent sewage overflows and basement backups resulting from fats, oils and grease. For residential customers, Baltimore County is implementing a public education program consisting of educational outreach, informational F.O.G. flyers and a page on the County’s website. For commercial food service establishments, the County enforces F.O.G. requirements under the Food Service Facility Regulations.

For more information, call 410-887-1836 or e-mail utilities@baltimorecountymd.gov.


Approximately 21,000 gallons released into Gwynns Falls

Baltimore County Bureau of Utility crews discovered a sanitary sewer overflow yesterday morning near Marston Road, located south of Liberty Road and west of the Beltway in Woodlawn. Investigating crews found a broken gravity sewer line which was discharging into a storm drain. They set up two pump-around operations to control the overflow – estimated at 21,100 gallons – and stopped the discharge by 5:30 p.m. yesterday.

Upon discovery, crews found that the overflow was unusually clean and debris-free, making tracing the source difficult. Crews then dye tested the sewer system upstream, revealing the extent of the overflow which had mixed with the natural runoff from a tributary to the Gwynns Falls. They then established two pump-around operations to halt the flow. 

  The public is advised to avoid contact with the waste water. The Baltimore County Department of Health will continue to monitor water quality in the Gwynns Falls and has issued a water contact advisories on their web page:

http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/environmentalhealth/watersampling/alertadvisory.html


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017