Large amounts of grease and oil in wastewater, cause trouble in the collection system pipes. Decreasing pipe capacity and, therefore requiring that pipe systems be cleaned and repaired more often raising the costs to taxpayers. When sewer pipes clog from large accumulation of grease, raw, untreated sewage pours from manholes and into the street. Often the volume of these sanitary sewer overflows is enormous and the sewage will spill into lakes, streams, oceans, and other waterways, causing a huge environmental disaster.
When untreated sewage becomes exposed to the public, there are immediate health concerns, as this waste carries too many pathogens to name. Private property is often damaged leading to extensive costs for repair and replacement.
The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that uncollected grease entering the sewage treatment system and collected grease trap waste ranges from 800-17,000 pounds per year per restaurant. That’s a lot of grease.
The EPA states that the leading cause of sanitary sewer overflows, is fats, oils and grease. It goes on to estimate that around 75,000 instances of an SSO occur across the United States each year, and the EPA also has stated that every single regulated wastewater sewer system in the USA has the capacity to have an SSO event.
Grease in conjunction with intrusive tree roots, sediment and other debris cause blockages in the sewer system. A sanitary sewer overflow spills raw sewage from manholes or lift stations onto streets and sidewalks. Playgrounds, lakes, streams and even home basements can ultimately end up as the victim of an SSO event.
Municipalities experience a direct cost burden for responding to blockages, relieving the blockage, cleaning damage done, or paying regulatory fines and penalties for violating their wastewater treatment NPDES Permits because of FOG related problems.