The holidays are a time for indulgent foods: Gravy, fatty meats, baked treats and more.
But these foods can cause major problems with clogging pipes — more specifically, the sewer pipes underneath Hoosiers’ homes.
Fats, oils and grease are found in many holiday staples. If not disposed of properly, however, they can wreak havoc on homeowners’ plumbing and the nearby sewer system. When washed down the drain, the fats and oils can create sewer backups across the Citizens Energy system that require costly repairs.
Citizens provides utility services — including water, sewer and gas — to nearly 800,000 people across Indianapolis. The company did not have specific numbers on backups from past years, but Citizens’ spokesman Dan Considine said they are particularly common during the holiday season.
What’s the problem?
During the holidays, people are often cooking larger meals with higher fat foods. Think a of a big roast with rich gravy on the menu, Considine said, or deep-frying a turkey around Thanksgiving.
But it’s what folks do with the leftover fats and oils that causesproblems to pop up.
When homeowners wash fats, oils and grease down the drain or garbage disposal, or flush it down the toilet, they enter the sewer system in a liquid state. But as they cool, the fats and oils solidify and attach to the sewer system’s pipes and joints.
Over time, those solid deposits can block the pipes and cause backups. According to Considine, residents…