Pouring Cooking Oil Down the Drain: What West Coasters Need to Know

May 20th, 2020 |  Blog
Dirty cooking pan in sink

You may have wondered – can you pour oil down the drain? It sounds like an easy solution to disposing of your used cooking oil. It’s in liquid form, so it should keep flowing through the pipes to wherever your wastewater ends up, right? Unfortunately, this is far from true, and the consequences of pouring oil down the drain can be much worse than you think.

SeQuential helps business owners and home chefs alike recycle their used cooking oil. Here, we explore what happens if you make the mistake of disposing of your oil through your sink and why recycling is so important.

The Risk of Fatbergs and Fines

The first problem of pouring used cooking oil down the drain is that it is illegal. Dumping oil can lead to hefty fines and possible shutdowns. Pouring oil liquid oil down the drain hardens in the pipes and can create fatbergs. As the oil travels along your pipes, it leaves tough residue that builds up over time.

Sewers are full of chemicals from cleaning supplies, the oxidization of pipe systems, and decomposing waste. When cooking oil comes into contact with these chemicals, they react together and form a new soapy, waxy substance known as a fatberg. As they form, they stick to the walls of sewers and collect bits of other debris that adhere to their surface. These fatbergs keep growing and growing over time, sometimes reaching over 100 tons in weight!

Consequences of Sewer Damage

Fatbergs are extremely destructive to pipelines and sewer systems. As they grow, these fatty and soapy masses clog pipes so they don’t work as effectively – if at all. Very large fatbergs can even make pipes burst. This leads to flooding, backwashes, and rising repair bills until the fatberg can be removed.

Not only are the consequences of illegally dumping oil expensive, but they can also be environmentally destructive. Sewer floods and backwashes can deposit garbage and raw sewage into the surrounding area. This contamination is toxic to plants and wildlife and damaging to the local environment.

Recycle Used Cooking Oil

Recycle your used cooking oil with SeQuential. We serve the West Coast and will collect used cooking oil at zero cost to you. We then process it into biodiesel, a clean-burning renewable fuel that can be used in place of regular diesel. By recycling your oil, you can both protect your drains and sewer systems while making a positive environmental impact as well.

For restaurants, we also offer grease trap services to keep your traps FDA-compliant and effective at filtering and capturing grease and waste. The fats, oils, and grease – or FOG – we take from your grease trap can also be rendered into biodiesel.

Get Started with SeQuential

Our customers often ask, “Can you pour cooking oil down the drain?” And our answer is always the same – absolutely not. Recycling your oil with SeQuential. We collect used cooking oil throughout California, Oregon, and Washington to help business owners and home chefs avoid the consequences of fatbergs and reduce their carbon footprint. To find out more, contact us today.