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Problems lurk for Colo. Springs Utilities as Thanksgiving Day nears

Published On: Nov 27 2013 05:55:06 AM CST

With more fats, oils and grease getting flushed down utility pipes, Colorado Springs Utilities is gearing up for one of the messiest holidays at the waste water treatment plants.

Colorado Springs Utilities said Thanksgiving results in more fats, oils and grease in their treatment plants than during any other time of the year.

“The biggest problem is just the magnitude of the grease that comes down the collection system from our customers,” said Lisa Barbato, water water treatment plant manager with CSU.

Barbato said the basins at the treatment plant are covered with a layer of orange-colored grease after Thanksgiving that gives off a turkey-like odor.

“The order of magnitude of the fats, oils and grease increases tremendously which causes a lot of problems with the maintenance of our collection systems as well as our treatment plants,” said Barbato.

Barbato explained the grease is a byproduct of cooking items such as beef, turkey, ham, soups and different sauces. 

She said disposal of these items down the kitchen drain could cause costly problems for homeowners.

“They coat the piping system that can actually plug our customer’s service lines as well as our collection system.  So, ultimately what happens is there could be a back up in our customer’s basements due to  plugging of the sanitary sewer system from the fats, oils and grease,” explained Barbato.

CSU suggests disposing of the holiday grease by pouring it in an empty can, letting it solidify and then throwing the grease-filled can in the garbage.


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