FOG stands for Fats, Oils and Grease, all of which can severely damage your sanitary sewer system. Animal and vegetable fats, as well as oils used to cook and prepare foods contribute to FOG. When poured down kitchen drains FOG accumulates inside sewer pipes. As the FOG builds up, it restricts the flow in the pipe and can cause untreated wastewater to back up into homes and businesses, resulting in high costs for cleanup and restoration. FOG discharged into septic systems and drain fields can cause malfunctions, resulting in more frequent tank pump-outs and other expenses.
FOG comes from:
- Bacon Grease
- Butter and Margarine
- Cooking Oil
- Food Products Such as Mayonnaise, Salad Dressings, and Sour Cream
- Food Scraps
- Meat Fats
- Dairy Products
How Does FOG Impact You?
Each year, FOG is blamed for approximately 47% of the United States’ 10,350–36,000 sanitary sewer overflows.
FOG may seem harmless, easily disappearing down the drain; however, once in the pipes, it cools, and clings to everything in the collection system. This restricts the flow of wastewater. Over time the pipes will be completely blocked and force the sewage back up the drain into a home, street, or creek.
When poured down the drain, FOG can cause problems in sanitary sewer pipes and sewer laterals. Grease buildup in pipes can cause major damage to pipes and lead to sewage back-ups in your home or business. Fats and oils can build up inside pipes and over time restrict wastewater flow if they’re poured down the drain. This could cause sewer blockages that can result in backups into your home or overflowing manholes. That’s why it’s so important to keep the grease out. To do that, both residential and commercial customers have key roles to play.
How to stop the FOG so it won’t clog
Communities spend billions of dollars every year unplugging or replacing grease-blocked pipes, repairing pump stations, and cleaning up costly and illegal wastewater spills. Excessive FOG in the sewer system can affect local wastewater rates. So, keeping FOG out of the sewer system helps everyone in the community.
The best way for residential customers to help: Don’t pour fats, oils or grease down the drain. That’s sure to cause clogs, possible sewer backups into your home and sewage overflows in the wastewater system. So do your part by properly disposing of fats, oils and grease:
- Pour the oil or grease into a can
- Put a lid on the can
- Cool the can of grease in the refrigerator
- When it’s full, toss the can into the trash
- Be sure the can is covered so that if the grease melts, it does not spill into your trash.
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