SSO stands for Sanitary Sewer Overflow, which occurs when a mixture of rainwater, groundwater, and untreated sewage is discharged into the environment before it reaches a water treatment facility. One of the main causes of SSO is draining fats, oils, and grease (FOG) into sinks instead of proper recycling or disposing of them.

Pouring used cooking oil down the drain of a sink can have serious negative effects. Once leftover grease reaches the sewer system, it hardens inside sewer pipes resulting in clogging and the blockage of untreated sewage. If cities fail to routinely clean and inspect the sewage system or there is a heavy rainfall, the buildup of harmful sewage water can overflow into streets, basements, and can contaminate water sources.

SSO can be identified if there is a build up of unsanitary water flowing out of a manhole or drain accompanied by a foul odor. When there is a large storm, the excess water can enter sewage pipes instead of its designated storm sewer pipes, creating an overflow of untreated sewage. Due to the uncertainty of when exactly a big rainfall will occur, citizens must be aware of this issue and be able to identify SSO. If you believe there is SSO occurring in your home or near your home, you should immediately call your cities public utility division for further inspection.

The kitchens of restaurants, hotels, hospitals and households play an important role in preventing SSO from occurring. Towns and cities spend thousands of dollars to clean, inspect, and maintain sewage systems annually, and some of this budget is delegated to prevention outreach programs to alert businesses and families of the harm of draining grease. Sewer systems around the country are becoming more vulnerable to fats, oils, and grease due to their rising age, meaning it is critical that cities and their citizens work together to actively prevent SSO.

Restaurants and other businesses who regularly use large amounts of cooking oil have installed grease traps and other preventive efforts to keep grease, fats, and oils out of city sewers, but households must take the same initiative to prevent harmful SSO.


Soaking up grease using paper towels or collecting grease in a container that is thrown in the garbage is one way to keep FOG out of household sewage systems. However, due to the economic and environmental benefits of grease recycling, households should make an effort reuse their cooking oil and find out where grease is being recycled in their town or city.

One of the primary reasons to avoid draining FOG down the drain is that there are many health risks involved if humans come into contact with untreated sewage. Dangerous viruses and infections can result from being in contact with home sewage damage, or drinking water contaminated from an SSO.

Humans aren't the only ones affected from SSO; this overflow of harmful germs, bacteria, and disease can contaminate rivers, lakes and streams, harming aquatic life and polluting fresh water sources.

SSOs can be very unpredictable due to the uncertainty of large rainstorms and older sewer systems; therefore, learning how to prevent them is essential. Grease recycling can reduce the possibility of an SSO, and also makes sure citizens of your town will not be in direct contact of untreated sewage.

1st Choice Grease works diligently to ensure companies and households are properly recycling their leftover cooking oil, ensuring cities and small towns in SETX are protected from SSOs. Do you have leftover used cooking oil to recycle? Contact 1st Choice Grease Service! We handle all of your used cooking oil needs. Call us today at 832.445.6582 281.592.0909  to learn more about our grease recycling service!