Unexpected Consequence of COVID-19, Sewer Overflows

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COVID-19 has an unexpected consequence, fatbergs and sewer overflows.

COVID-19 has brought our global community to a standstill, and with this sudden pause in our daily routines, there has been an unexpected consequence—sewer overflows. A sewer overflow is when untreated sewage is discharged from a sewer into the environment prior to reaching sewage treatment facilities. Sewer overflows are dangerous for humans, animals and the local environment.

Increase in Sewer Overflows During COVID-19

There are two major reason we are seeing a dramatic increase in sewer overflows and fatbergs—the toilet paper shortage and an increase in cooking at home.

The Toilet Paper Shortage

The toilet paper shortage has forced many people to start flushing items that do not breakdown in city sewers. Water treatment operators are seeing an exponential increase in families flushing wet wipes, paper towels, newspaper and even shreds of clothing. None of these items breakdown and only end up clogging the sewer. The only item that is safe to flush is toilet paper, all other items should be disposed of in the trash.

Cooking at Home More

The second reason for the increase in fatbergs and sewer overflows is that more of us are cooking at home. With restaurants closed, we are cooking at home and not properly disposing of drain and sewer clogging substances (i.e. cooking oil, grease, fats, dairy, salad dressing). These cooking products and by-products combine in city sewers and bind non-biodegradable items to cause fatbergs, which then lead to sewer overflows into homes, neighborhoods and the environment.

Working Together for a Solution

To combat this sudden increase in environmental pollution from fatbergs and sewer overflows, we all need to work hard to do our part. By being mindful of what we rinse down the kitchen sink and flush down the toilet, we can help decrease the burden on our water treatment facilities and have a positive impact on our local environment.

Grease Hero

Grease Hero is a convenient and responsible way to dispose of cooking fats, oils and grease after cooking a meal. The Grease Hero drain guard is made of recycled materials and quickly absorbs the fats, oils and grease that you pour into it directly from your cooking pan. You then simply dispose of the entire drain guard into your trash. This keeps that harmful cooking oil and grease contaminants out of your plumbing, city sewers and the environment.


Learn more about Grease Hero.

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