How to prevent fatbergs from blocking your drains during the holidays

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Thanksgiving involves a lot of food and with food can come ingredients that can block up the pipes in your home in a major way.

The extra grease, fats, and oils aren’t supposed to go down the drain but oftentimes, it ends up there anyway unless you’re careful. When it does, it can cause something called “fatbergs.” David Martinez with the City of Phoenix said that fats and greases can back up systems and creates these wads of rags, flushable wipes, hair, etc. “There’s a potential for odors even across the Valley. We try to remove the fats and oils by draining it into a trough,” he said.

When it comes to just a little bit of oil down the drain, 4 million people doing it on the same weekend can create massive problems. Martinez said he asks everyone to dump the greases into the trash. “It makes a massive impact on the system. The fats, oils and greases lower the efficiency in that treatment by increasing the oxygen demand on the system,” he said. “Please don’t put them down the drain, it causes havoc on our system in the Valley and at our treatment plans.”

According to RotoRooter, the three most common types of clogs are kitchen sinks, jammed garbage disposals, main sewer clogs, and toilet clogs. The company said it typically sees around a 50% increase in call volume over an average Friday and 21% uptick in business over any other four-day weekend. It’s so common, it’s referred to in the plumbing world as a “Brown Friday.”