Grease in Greenfield sewers a potential problem
GREENFIELD — Most residents, especially those with septic systems, have learned that it’s not a good idea to pour grease down the drain, but even the most conscientious households and restaurants lose some grease to the drain in the cleaning process.
Sarah Campbell, the town’s engineering superintendent, said the town recently collected a “good amount” of greasy chunks after cooking oil and grease made their way into the town’s sewer system and solidified.
Campbell said some restaurants and residents in Greenfield are adding to what might become a problem that could lead to an interruption of service.
“Restaurant grease is a huge problem,” said Campbell.
She said that while restaurants are required to have grease traps, which the town inspects annually and should be cleaned by the restaurants quarterly, some have been disconnected so that they don’t have to be cleaned.
Campbell said that leads to the potential for clogged town sewer pipes, and she said when residents add to the problem, it just makes it that much bigger and more likely to cause serious issues down the road.
“There are several siphons under the Green River,” said Campbell. “Those need to be kept clean.”
Campbell said much of the restaurant grease making its way into town sewers is coming from the Mohawk Trail area.
When grease gets into sewer lines it hardens, turning into the consistency of household bar soap, and that can create environmental and health hazards, as well as sewer clogs and overflows.
Experts suggest that people put excess solidified grease in the trash and that restaurants keep grease traps connected. Oil that does not solidify may be mixed with bark chips, cat litter or sand and then thrown in the trash.