The holiday season is the time for preparing turkey, ham, rack of lamb and other seasonal delights. These delicious meals are accompanied by pans filled with oil. Under the right chemical conditions, all that oil turns into emulsified grease, which is hazardous for septic systems.
What Is Emulsified Grease?
Emulsion is the dispersion of droplets of one liquid into another. That is roughly the dictionary or Wikipedia definition. To explain it in layman’s terms, emulsion occurs in one of two ways:
Physical emulsion is what happens when you shake a bottle of Italian dressing. The oil blends with the water and vinegar spices. Once the shaking is over, the oil soon separates back out from the water, vinegar and spices.
Chemical emulsion is what happens when oil is mixed with water through a chemical process. It is, in other words, what happens when you put detergents into your sink with greasy water.
Why Emulsified Grease is Bad and How to Prevent it
Physically emulsified grease quickly separates from the water, allowing it to be captured by the grease trap. However, chemically emulsified grease is still bonded to the water so it is able to pass the trap and into the septic, which can cause a backup that will require pumping. To prevent this from happening, never pour oil or grease down the drain. Any pots, pans, racks or dishes being washed should be wiped before they’re put into the sink.
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