June 23, 2018
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Kitchen grease poured into sinks fouling up Bangor sewer system

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The city is asking its residents to stop dumping kitchen grease down the drains to avoid a series of “grease plugs” the city has had to deal with recently.

Greases and oils dumped into drains pass into sewer lines, where they can congeal, plugging up the sewer system and creating overflows and backups.

“These backups are unsightly, unsanitary and also violate U.S. [Environmental Protection Agency] and Maine [Department of Environmental Protection] Clean Water Act permits held by the city,” Bangor officials said in a press release Friday.

The city has asked residents to never pour grease down sinks or into toilets, but instead to place it in a can or the garbage for proper disposal. Also, garbage disposals don’t prevent grease from entering the sewer system.

Homeowners and restaurants also are asked to set their hot water heaters to 140 degrees or less. If a dishwashing system or hot water sink gets hotter than 160 degrees, it thins out the grease and sends it past the lateral pipeline, allowing it into the city sewer, where it later solidifies.

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