Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)
FOG Program Information
Fats, Oil and Grease deposits in sewer mains is the most common cause of Sanitary Sewer Overflows (S.S.O.) and backups which are environmentally harmful, inconvenient and costly for affected property owners. Learn more about the importance of combating the issue at the source.
View the FOG presentation (PDF)
General Grease Best Practices
Some people think that by adding hot water from the kitchen faucet, the grease will just disappear. There is some truth to this. The grease will break down with heat from the hot water, but when it cools down it will solidify in your private sewer service, the City sanitary sewer system, or both.
Sewer pipes are sized to accommodate the anticipated maximum flows that can be delivered through the pipe. As fats, oils, and grease (also known as "FOG" throughout the sewer industry) cools underground in the sewer pipes, it attaches itself to the pipe walls and lessens the capacity for maximum flow levels. Eventually, the grease can build up enough to nearly or completely block off all sewer flow in an area near you. When that happens, a back-up in your home plumbing can occur or cause a blockage in the City sewer system that can result in a sewer spill from one of thousands of sewer manholes that we maintain.
Sewer spills could result in discharging untreated sewer into storm drains, rivers, creeks, and waterways in our neighborhoods. Sewer spills impact the environment and the habitat that depends upon clean water to survive.
There is hope and an easy way to reduce and eliminate the problems that fats, oils, and grease can cause in the sewer system! It's as easy as this:
- Use a standard sized food can with the lid completely removed to pour your household cooking grease into.
- As it cools, it too will start to solidify in the can, much like it would have done had it been washed or flushed down the plumbing drains.
- When the can gets close to being full, discard the cooled grease can into your garbage.
This action alone will help to reduce sewer blockages, sewer spills, help protect our environment, and reduce extra maintenance costs to keep the sewer lines free of grease deposits. You "can" make a difference!