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‘Don’t put it in the drains;’ How grease clogs from fish fries can be costly

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — People across the Miami Valley have fish fries for Lent, but those events create a lot of grease.

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Montgomery County leaders are worried about the grease and how people will get rid of it.

News Center 7′s Malik Patterson investigated it on Friday.

He found out that if it’s done wrong, it could cost people thousands of dollars.

“You just don’t put it in the drains,” said Harry Crego. “I say pickle jars, things like that.”

He learned by trial and error about the proper disposal of grease.

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Crego told Patterson that he purchased his house 11 years ago and inherited a problem.

“Yeah, twice within a year the drains plugged up, had it cleaned out,” he told Patterson.

This was because grease had clogged up the drains.

“The guy told me what it was, nothing but grease,” said Crego. “That builds up and everything catches on it.”

“How much did it cost you both times?” Patterson asked him.

“$100 the first time, and a little more than $200 the second time,” he answered.

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Montgomery County leaders are asking people to not drain their grease in the sink.

Patterson went to the East-end plant to see just how bad it is when grease is dumped in the drains.

“So, these are grease balls,” Donald Hartman, Water Reclamation manager, showed News Center 7. “(It) forms in the sewer. And then you can see other types of grease here that maybe broke from the sewer.”

Patterson asked Hartman what the damage is for both homeowners and renters with grease buildup.

“Grease that you dumped into the sewer,” he explained. “It comes up out of the ground onto the streets or into somebody’s yard.”

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He said they cannot put a price point on how much it will cost to fix each grease clog. It varies by each situation.

But it is something that Crego plans to never do again.

“My suggestion is never to pour it down the drain,” he said. (It) saves you a lot of problems.”

Montgomery County cleans up 19 million gallons of water a day.

That is why the county is asking people to dump the grease in both cans and the trash.

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