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Minneapolis will charge residents for sewer repairs if they put fat down the drain

The city has spent $1 million since 2012 unclogging fat-blocked sewers.

If you're the kind of person who puts fat, grease and oil down the sink after cooking, it could prove to be an expensive habit from here on out.

That's because the City of Minneapolis has joined several other Minnesota cities in implementing a FOG (Fats, Oils and Grease) ordinance punishing known offenders.

Under the new ordinance, the city will be allowed to charge property owners and food businesses for the cleaning, repair or replacement of city-owned sewer pipes that have become clogged with grease, if they're found responsible for the clog.

The move was taken because the city has spent around $1 million since 2012 on unclogging pipes that have become clogged with grease and fat, and are calling on residents and restaurants to dispose of their FOG in the correct way.

Simply putting oils and grease down the drain can restrict the flow of water and sewage in the city's pipes, potentially leading to foul backups that can spew out sewage into the basements of homes and commercial buildings, or out of street manholes.

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The Star Tribune reports that Minneapolis' ordinance follows similar measures taken by cities including Rochester, Roseville, Bloomington, Golden Valley and Duluth in recent years.

And the timing of the ordinance is particularly pertinent, given Minnesotans are about to sit down for their Thanksgiving turkey dinners on Thursday.

The City of Minneapolis says that if you have liquid fat or grease in a pan, either pour it into a disposable container, or wait for it to solidify, and then either dispose of it in the trash or reuse it.

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