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Oyster Roasting & Water Quality

Oyster Roasting & Water Quality

By Lisa Hardy
Physical & Environmental Planner

With the shorter days and cooler temperatures comes the coastal culinary custom beloved by folks in Hampton Roads: the Oyster Roast. Enjoy your roast and help keep the local oyster population thriving by keeping the fats, oils and grease out of the storm drain system and your sanitary sewer by following these quick tips to make clean-up a breeze!

  • Do not hose down grill parts in your yard or driveway!  This sends a greasy mess straight to area waterways via the storm drain system.
  • Keep your grill clean and well oiled to prevent food from sticking.  Clean the grill after each use to minimize greasy food build-up by scraping or wiping down components and throwing the residue in the trash.
  • A wire or brass brush is indispensable in clearing stuck-on food bits from the cooking surface. To maximize grease removal, clean when the grill is hot by dipping a long-handled wire brush in water then scrubbing the grill carefully, allowing the steam and agitation of the bristles to remove greasy soils.
  • Scrape any residue off the insides of the grill body once it cools completely. The inside surfaces of most gas grills are smooth, so it’s easy to scrape away accumulated fats and foods with a putty knife or similar metal tool.  Discard residue in the trash.


Keep grease and food out of your kitchen drain and the storm drain, and make your fall sizzle by roasting up some local delicacies on the grill or in the kitchen. Use these expert tips for surefire success and fat free drains!

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