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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Environmental Assistance and Customer Service - SSO

Environmental Assistance and Customer Service

Sanitary Sewer Overflow Prevention

The Grease Goblin

Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) are clogs in the collection systems that can potentially result in raw sewage releases into communities. These are costly events for wastewater utilities to cleanup, dangerous for public health and can degrade the water quality of North Carolina's public waters. Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) such as used cooking oil, peanut butter, salad dressing, bacon grease and more (click here for more examples) poured down kitchen drains can flow into local sewer systems and contribute to clogs which frequently results in SSOs.

Another source of clogs is solid waste flushed down the toilet. Examples of solid waste include feminine hygiene products, diapers, paper towels, toys, etc and should be properly disposed of or recycled. These should never be introduced into the sewer system because they are especially difficult to remove. So called "flushable wipes" are a huge problem for sewer systems because they tangle into thick "ragging" mats within the sewer lines. Proper material disposal prevents SSOs.

Example of a cooking oil container leaking into a storm water drain.

Spills around a used cooking oil container.

Photo of grease that passed through a grease trap when hot and now solidified in the lift station.

Photo of used cooking oil not stored properly.

Photo of popular used cooking oil container.

Photo of a used cooking oil transporter.

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