Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG)
Just as fat accumulates and causes blockages in human arteries, oil and grease solidifies and accumulates in household pipes, restricting the flow of wastewater and causing sewer backups and overflows. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) separates from other liquids as it goes down your drain. The FOG cools and sticks to household pipes and sewer pipes.
There are ways for our customers to help this problem. Here are a few:
- Always keep in mind that just because your grease waste is leaving your sink with no problem, that it won't start creating a problem down the road for you, your neighbor and your community.
- Do not pour grease down your sink.
- Do not flush grease down your toilet.
- Do not use your garbage disposal as a trashcan.
- Do not pour food down your drain.
Wipe clean your dishes.
Nationwide 30 to 35% of all sanitary sewer overflows are caused by fats, oils and grease blockages.
Animal and vegetable-based oil and grease often enter the wastewater collection system in the liquid form. An important property of oil and grease is its ability to separate and float on water (hydrophobic compounds). Once in the wastewater collection system these fats, oils and greases cool and solidify. The grease begins to accumulate on the sewer pipe surfaces, eventually causing a clog in the sewer pipe. These blockages in subsequent overflows are unsightly and cleanup is time-consuming and costly. Sewage backups present a potential health hazard as raw sewage may carry harmful bacteria, viruses, and pathogens.
Maintain Grease Removal Devices
Have outdoor grease interceptors regularly serviced by a licensed waste hauler. Clean all indoor grease traps manually each week, at a minimum. Clean indoor automatic grease traps daily.
Wipe/Scrape before Washing
Wipe or scrape food residue into the trash from pots, pans, dishware, and work areas before washing.
Recycle Used Cooking Oil
Collect and store used cooking oil in a barrel or bin.
Protect Drains from Spills
When an oily, greasy spill occurs, block off any sink or floor drain. Clean up the spill with an absorbent material like cat litter or absorbent sweep. Put absorbed materials in plastic bags before placing in the trash.
Keep overflows from entering the storm drain. Create a barrier using dirt, cat litter, or other absorbent material.
Post “Proper Disposal of Fats, Oils, and Grease” signs near sinks and dishwashers.
Install Drain Screens
Install drain screens in all drains (food sinks, floors, mop sinks, and hand sinks) to capture scraps and other solid materials.
Clean Hood Filters
Clean exhaust filters in sinks (not outside). This stops pollutants from entering the storm drains.