Fats, Oil & Grease (FOG)

DocumentFats, oils and grease, known collectively as FOG, represent the most serious enemy of our sewer lines. When FOG is dumped down the drain, it forms large, thick grease balls that clog the pipes. Clogged pipes can result in sewer backups and spills, creating environmental problems, traffic tie-ups, or even flooded homes and businesses. Commercial food handling facilities contribute greatly to FOG build-up in our sewer lines because of the amount of grease used in cooking and other food prep work.

Can the grease to protect your home, business and the environment!

What is FOG?

FOG refers to fats, oil, and grease from food preparation and kitchen clean up. Fats, oil, and grease are found in such things as:

  • Butter
  • Cooking oil
  • Food scraps
  • Grease
  • Lard
  • Margarine
  • Meat fats
  • Shortening
Impact of FOG

Fats, oil and grease will solidify in the sewer lines, and can cause clogs in the pipe. These clogs can then cause sewage backups, which can damage homes and businesses and also create health hazards. Sewer pipes blocked by grease are an increasingly common cause of sewage overflows. Preventing sewer backups from FOG blockages saves money and protects the environment. When sewer pipes back up on private property, the homeowner or business owner is responsible for the cleanup.

FOG Do's

  • Can the grease! Keep an empty metal can and pour oil and grease into the can. Allow grease to cool in the container before throwing it in the trash.
  • Wipe before washing. For greasy pans, pour off the grease into a container mentioned above, and use a paper towel to wipe out the remaining grease in the pan prior to washing.
  • Seal the oil. Mix liquid vegetable oil with an absorbent material such as cat litter or coffee grounds in a sealable container before throwing it in the trash.
  • Protect your drain. Keep drains clean by pouring 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup vinegar. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water.
FOG Don'ts

  • Do not pour fat, oil or grease down drains or garbage disposals.
  • Do not use hot water to rinse grease off cookware, utensils, dishes or surfaces.
Cleaning FOG build-up from sewers increases maintenance costs for everyone in the sewer system. FOG can create sewer overflows. Keep our environment clean and avoid unnecessary maintenance costs by keeping fat, oil and grease out of our sewers.

Tips for Businesses for Managing FOG

  • Strain or filter oil in deep fryers to extend the life of the cooking oil.
  • Control the temperature of deep fryers to prevent the oil from scorching and extend its life. The less oil in the grease interceptor means saving money in pumping and in new oil purchased!
  • Recycle cooking oils and leftover grease into a storage container, like a barrel or bucket. Remember that grease is valuable: grease and oil can be recycled into other useful products. See your yellow pages for "grease traps" or "greases" to find grease collection companies or grease trap service providers.
  • Easy does it! Instruct staff to be conservative about the use of FOG in food preparation.
  • Recycle food waste. Don't use your garbage disposal to grind it up and flush it down the drain.
  • Use dry cleanup methods to reduce water consumption and save money! Remove food waste from pans by scraping, wiping or sweeping before using wet methods with water. Use rubber scrapers to remove FOG from cookware.
  • Use absorbent paper to soak up FOG under fryer baskets.
  • Use paper towels to wipe down work areas. Cloth towels will accumulate grease that will eventually end up in your drains when washing.
  • Minimize the use of dish soap in dishwashing operations. Dish soap emulsifies FOG and enables it to pass through a grease interceptor. It will later coagulate in the sewer lines.
  • Maintain your grease trap. Restaurants should have a grease trap installed in the kitchen. In order to keep your grease trap working properly, you will need to have your it cleaned periodically, according to the manufacturer's specifications. To find a company to clean your grease trap, check the yellow pages for "grease traps."