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'Tis The Season For Stuffed Turkeys And Clogged Drains

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Miami Herald
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer is asking residents to properly dispose of their cooking waste this holiday season

Busted and clogged pipes cost the Miami-Dade County sewage system $600,000 last year, and one of the main culprits was grease.

That's why Miami-Dade Water and Sewer is asking residents to properly dispose of their cooking waste this holiday season.

Jennifer Messemer-Skold, the county agency's spokesperson, likened a pipe clogged with grease to an unhealthy heart.

"If you have a very high fat-content diet, your arteries start to clog up," she said.

As the residue hardens and builds up, it makes it harder for waste to pass through, causing a heart attack — or in the case of the water system, a sewer main break.

"It breaks in the street. There's untreated sewage in the street," Messemer-Skold said. "And it could ultimately — depending on where it happens — end up in a waterway."

Credit Miami-Dade Water and Sewer
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer provides a graphic on what items can cause clogs and damage to sewage pipes.

And while holiday cooking especially wreaks havoc on pipes, Messemer-Skold said it's a year-round issue.

Baby wipes, paper towels and egg shells were some of the everyday items that contributed to the more than 700 clogs last year. 

"Even if you have a garbage disposal, just go ahead and throw it away," Messemer-Skold said. 

And for those planning to cook with grease or oil, Messemer-Skold offered some advice for how to properly dispose of it. 

"Wait for the grease or oil to cool, can it and then put it in the garbage and trash it," she said.


Andrew Quintana is a senior at Florida State University pursuing degrees in Communication Studies and Editing, Writing, & Media. Before entering WFSU's newsroom, Andrew worked with V89 Radio's News and Continuity department and interned as a staff writer for Haute Living Magazine. He enjoys Razzie nominated films and collects vinyls that are perfect for ultimate frisbee. Follow Andrew Quintana on Twitter: @AndrewLQuintana
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