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Septic System Wreckers: Grease and Fat

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Septic system maintenance

Septic systems are built to break down waste and toilet paper, and not much else. Fats, oils and grease (otherwise known as FOGs) should be kept out of sinks and drains because septic systems are not designed to break them down.

FOGs cause plumbing and septic problems

Fats, oils and grease can accumulate from obvious foods such as cooking grease, butter, margarine, meat scraps, cooking oil, etc., as well as less obvious things like salad dressings and tanning and bath oils.

FOGs are hard for your septic system to break down; even worse, they can cause blockages in your plumbing and sewer line before even making it to the tank. Allowing these items into your system may take “life” off of the system.

Routine pumpings prevent FOG buildup

Pumping the septic tank on a regular basis may help prevent FOG from accumulating too much. Infrequent pumpings may result in too much FOG in your septic tank — causing a pumping to take longer, and therefore cost more — or in solidified FOG, which clumps up and cannot easily be removed from the septic tank.

For example, take a closer look at the photo at the top of this post — that’s solidified grease that we pulled out of a septic tank. Don’t let this happen to you.

The best preventive is being careful

Pumpings are helpful in preventing FOG buildup, but the best way to prevent it is to avoid putting certain items down your drains in the first place.

  • Pour used cooking grease into a can and throw it in the trash
  • Wipe off greasy pans and plates with a paper towel before washing
  • Use bath oils sparingly
  • Wipe off tanning oils with a towel before showering

We are septic experts

Whether you’re having septic problems due to FOG or are just in need of a routine cleaning, Van Delden is here to help. We’ve been installing and maintaining septic systems since 1937, and provide professional, thorough service for standard and Clearstream aerobic septic systems.

Call us today at 830.249.4000 (Boerne) or 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or contact us online to make an appointment.


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