Grease and oil disposal

We are committed to providing City of La Crosse residents with a safe and environmentally sound wastewater collection and treatment system. Such a system is vital to support a quality lifestyle, a strong local economy, and to protect our environment. Unfortunately, grease, a common material, can build up in our collection system and severely impact maintenance and operational cost.

  • The accumulation of fats, oils, and grease in the sanitary sewer systems is a leading cause of sewer blockages across the U.S.
  • Every day, household and commercial kitchens produce large amounts of fats, oils, and grease. These by-products of cooking are bad for the sanitary sewer system. Over time, they begin to adhere to the sides of the sewer lines and begin to buildup, eventually causing a backup.
  • The blockages cause sanitary sewer overflows into local waterways and backups into nearby homes and businesses.
  • The maintenance cost associated with the blockages is passed along to all sewer ratepayers. This additional cost would be unnecessary if the problem did not exist. Clearly, the prevention of grease entering into our sanitary sewers is the key to our problem.

Grease Management Tips

Grease comes from many different sources. Some of these include:

  • Meat fats
  • Lard
  • Food scraps
  • Dressings and sauces
  • Baking goods
  • Butter and margarine
  • Shortening
  • Dairy products

Prevention

Here are some easy steps to make sure fats, oils, and grease do not make it into our sanitary sewer system

  • Never pour grease down sink drains, garbage disposals or into toilets.
  • Use a paper towel to clean up the excess grease residue left on pots, pans and utensils. Dispose of this greasy towel into the trash.
  • Scrape all food scraps from trays, plates, pots, pans, utensils and any cooking surface into the trash for disposal.
  • Talk with your family, friends, and neighbors about some easy steps that they can take to help prevent fats, oils and grease from getting into our sanitary sewer system.
  • Train your kitchen staff to use the best management practices for cleanup and grease disposal.
  • Conspicuously post no grease signs near drains and sinks.
  • Recycle waste cooking oil.
  • Clean under sink grease traps weekly.
  • Clean outdoor grease traps monthly.
  • Keep accurate records of grease trap maintenance. Include dates, amounts, disposal methods, and service staff.

IMPORTANT: The City of La Crosse Sewer Ordinance requires that restaurants install and maintain grease traps and/or interceptors to prevent grease from entering the sewer system. Ultimately, the owner/manager of a restaurant is responsible for everything that is put down the drain in their facility. However, residents in their home should also be sure to throw used grease oil in the trash, and not put it down the drain.