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Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)

frying pan full of grease

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are one of the leading causes of sewer overflows. There are simple steps which residents can take to prevent FOG from adversely affecting their homes and communities. The easiest way to solve grease problems and prevent blockages is to keep FOG out of the sewer system.

FOG represents one of the largest problems for sewer utilities and their customers. Blockages due to coagulated grease in pipes are thought to be the leading cause of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). SSOs are backups in either the public sewer or residential plumbing. Although often unintentional, the injection of FOG into the sewer system poses a significant risk to household plumbing and public sewer systems.

grease clogged pipe

Garbage disposals, or food grinders, can be useful appliances when used properly. The grinding of raw vegetables and certain other discarded food products not cooked with grease, butter or oils are potentially useful when transported to the sewer treatment plant as they can be recycled in an environmentally useful manner. Conversely, the grinding of meat products, dairy products or other cooked foods allows grease to be temporarily ground and introduced into the sewer system. FOG will accumulate and eventually form blockages, often causing SSOs.

Most grease is a byproduct of cooking
and is usually found in such things as:

Cool It. Can It. Trash It.

  • Food scraps
  • Meat fats
  • Lard
  • Cooking oil
  • Butter and margarine
  • Baked goods
  • Sauces
  • Dairy products

Here's how you can help prevent sewer backups:

  • Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets or garbage disposals.
  • Pour grease into a covered disposable container and put it into the trash.
  • To assist with the proper disposal of fats, oils, and grease, BWSC is providing FREE reusable grease can lids to residents.
fog

COOL IT - CAN IT TRASH IT

  • Soak up remaining fats, oils and grease with paper towels and dispose with your trash.
  • Before you wash dishes, scrape meats and food with fat and grease into the trash.
  • Put baskets or strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids, and empty the drain basket or strainer into the trash.
  • Only use garbage disposals for fruits, vegetables, and organic waste.

For more information, download our FOG Brochure in English or Spanish.

For information about FOG in commercial kitchens, see our Commercial Kitchen Grease Trap Guidelines brochure.

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