Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) Information

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FOG ProgramWhat is FOG?
FOG is short for Fats, Oils and Grease. FOG is found in foods such as meats, sauces, salad dressings, foods cooked in deep fat fryers, cookies, pastries, cheese, butter and many, many more. Some common FOG found in kitchens includes cooking oils, condiments such as salad dressings and sandwich spreads, meat juices and fat. When FOG is poured down the drain and garbage disposals, it can cause blockages that can cause the sewer to back up into your home or business through sinks, drains and toilets.
FOG Facts:

  • Fat, oil and grease (FOG) clogs sewer lines. Sewage backups and overflows can be the result of grease buildup that can cause property damage, environmental problems and other health hazards. 
  • FOG gets into the sewers mainly from commercial Food Service Establishments (FSE’s) that do not have adequate grease control measures in place, such as grease interceptors.
  • All too often, fat, oil and grease are washed into the plumbing system, usually through kitchen sinks and floor drains found in food preparation areas. They stick to the inside of sewer pipes both on your property and in the sewer pipes. Over time, FOG builds up and eventually blocks the pipe, causing sewage backups and overflows.

FOG Costs
To your Business: As your sewer pipes back up, the sewage and food particles that accumulate can attract and other vermin, cause unpleasant odors, and could create health hazards. Property damage can also result from sewage backups and lead to expensive cleanup and plumbing repairs.
Health code violations or closures can greatly impact your business.

To the Environment: Clogged sewers can lead to overflows. As sewage overflows onto streets, it enters the storm drain system and is carried to our local creeks and beaches, creating health risks for swimmers, fish and plant life.

To the City: Increased sewer blockages and overflows lead to costly maintenance and can result in severe fines from State regulatory agencies, leading to increased sewer fees.

Commercial
Because of the high volume of food prepared and processed at Food Service Establishments or FSEs, there is potential for greater amounts of FOG to enter the sewer system through connections to these facilities. It is, therefore, important that owners, managers and employees of FSEs understand how to responsibly manage FOG.

Restaurants and Food Service Establishments should:

  1. Have proper grease control equipment installed. 
  2. Perform routine maintenance of grease control equipment. For more information visit: www.calfog.org 
  3. Keep records of grease control equipment maintenance on-site for inspection.
  4. Train staff to implement Best Management Practices(BMP’s) for grease.

Residential
Residents make the biggest difference when it comes to reducing sewer backups and overflows. The majority of FOG-related sewer backups and overflows originate in residential areas. The easiest way to solve the grease problem is to keep FOG out of the sewer system in the first place and follow the easy disposal tips listed below. 

  • Never pour grease, fats or oil down the sink or garbage disposal.
  • Pour fats, oil and grease into jars, cans and or other containers(Be careful. Liquid may be hot!) Let cool and dispose in trash.
  • Mix cooking oil with an absorbent material such as cat litter or coffee grounds, place in a lidded container for disposal in your trash.
  • For greasy pans, pour off the grease into a container as instructed above and dry wipe the remaining grease prior to washing.

For more information please visit: www.calfog.org  or http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/industrial_waste/