Issue of fats, oils, grease being flushed down drain in Orangeville sparks #GettheFOGout campaign

July 13, 2023   ·   0 Comments

The Town of Orangeville is launching a new education campaign through its Wastewater Services division, aimed at helping the community understand the impact of washing fats, oils, greases (FOG), and wipes down drains and toilets. 

“Flushing things like bacon grease, sauces, dairy, and cooking products down the drain might not seem like a bad idea when in liquid form, but these materials can’t always make it to the Water Pollution Control Plant,” explained John den Hoed, supervisor of Wastewater Services. “Blockages occurring from the materials can cause health hazards, damages to your home, threaten the environment, and cost a lot for both homeowners and taxpayers.” 

The backups and blockages that occur can be difficult to fix, and the cost is high. Over time, water waste can surge into homes through floor drains, toilets, or cause sewage backups with a price-tag for home-owners of $2000-$8000 or more depending on the severity of damage to the home and pipes.  

Flushable wipes and tampons also pose a major problem. Despite their name, those wipes are not actually flushable. Wipes, tampons, and FOG stick together, creating large lumps and blocks that impact sewers and plug pumping stations.  

Work to clear stations and sewers can cost as much as $100,000 for the Town, depending on how large the blockage is, resulting in expensive repairs and tax dollars that cannot be spent elsewhere in the community.  

Working with Dufferin County, the Town of Orangeville’s education campaign will help residents identify what materials are causing these recurring problems, what to watch for, and how to properly dispose of the materials.  

The campaign is kicking off with a video that highlights these problems and demonstrates the impact and outcome of FOG, wipes, and other materials when flushed down drains and toilets:

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