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RDEK Urges Edgewater Residents to Keep Fats, Oils, and Grease Out of Drains

The Regional District of East Kootenay is asking residents in Edgewater to be mindful of the materials being rinsed down drains and flushed down toilets.

“We have had several blockages in the Edgewater sewer system caused by the build-up of fats, oils, and greases. It is essential that cooking leftovers go in the garbage and never in the sink or toilet,” says RDEK Utilities Superintendent, Tom Altmann. “The cost to vacuum all the sewer lines in Edgewater is between $5000 and $7000 and could have to be done twice a year. If we can’t prevent these blockages caused by fats, oils, greases, food scraps, and wipes, our operating costs go up substantially.”

The substances that should not be going down the drain include baking goods, butter, lard, shortening, cooking oil, fats and oil from cooked meats, food scraps, gravy, mayonnaise, salad dressings, and wipes, even of the flushable variety. Some ways to keep these things out of the system include pouring cooled fats, oils, and grease into containers and putting the containers in the trash, wiping excess materials from dishes and disposing of them in the garbage, using sink strainers to catch food waste, putting food scraps in the garbage and never flushing wipes down the toilet, even if the packaging says that it is safe to do so.

“The easiest way to avoid blockages and help prevent overflows of raw sewage is to keep this material out of the drains,” adds Altmann. “It’s important to understand that even small amounts of these materials from many residents can add up to be a large and costly problem. The good news is, this is preventable, and we are looking to residents to be part of the solution.”


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