TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Pouring grease down the sink may be a convenient way to do clean-up, but the affects can be the opposite.
John Crymes, the owner of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, says at least 60% of the blockages they fix are due to grease buildup.
"It's not an overnight process," says Crymes. "But just like your arteries, it's going to build up until you get a hard blockage."
When temperatures drop, grease in pipes cools down faster, leading to more blockages that can spread well beyond your home.
"It's going to harden in both your line and in the city's line," says Kate Dietz, Environmental Compliance Engineer for the City of Tyler. "So that can cause an overflow into your home, potentially the city street, which then goes to the storm drain."
The City of Tyler says they've already been treating clogged pipes in some heavily populated areas. The city is urging residents to properly dispose of grease, oils, and fats in an effort to preserve the city's infrastructure.
The City is in the early stages process of developing a grease, oils, and fats ordinance to ensure proper disposal. The ordinance would need to be approved by Tyler's City Council before it can be implemented.
"We need to take care of it," says Dietz. "The problem is that when you dispose of these things down the drain that can cause overflows. It's bad for the environment and it's bad for the people."
The city recommends residents dispose of these materials by putting them in a sealed container and then in the trash.
Crymes recommends residents treat their pipes with a probiotic to prevent clogging over time.