FOG Prevention Protects the Environment
Fat, oil and grease in sewer pipes, referred to
as FOG, create pollution problems in many
communities. FOG enters sewer pipes through
restaurant, residential and commercial sink
drains. Once in the sewer, FOG sticks to the pipe
and thickens. FOG can build up and eventually
block the entire pipe. Blockages in sewer pipes
can send sewage backward out of manholes
into streets and rivers, or up floor drains in
homes. These sewage overflows pollute the
Impact of FOG
Preventing sewer overflows from FOG
blockages saves communities money and
protects the environment. When overflows
occur, local public works staff need to go to
the site and clean the grease build-up out of the
sewer using a vactor truck. Depending on the
severity of the blockage, these cleanups can cost
taxpayers or the FOG contributor thousands of
dollars. For example, during the holiday season
Rochester Hills diverted a potential sewage
backup from entering into one of the City’s malls
by cleaning a major FOG blockage. Reported by
an observant citizen who saw a manhole cover
being pushed up, the blockage was so severe
that the sewer pipe had to be cleaned from both
sides of the blockage. Although the disaster
was avoided, the necessary maintenance was
performed at an increased cost to the city.
Restaurant owners and commercial businesses
can help control the problem by properly
disposing of fat, oil and grease. Everyone is part
of the solution.
Sources of FOG
Fat, oil and grease are by-products of
cooking found in:
• food scraps
• meat fats
• cooking oil
• butter, margarine or shortening
Negative Effects of FOG
• Attracts insects and rodents
• Property damage from sewage backups
• Sewage overflows in streets or rivers
• Expensive and unpleasant cleanup
• Higher operation and maintenance costs
for local sewer departments and business
Keep Drains Clear
Follow These Tips:
• Train all employees to properly handle used
fat, oil and grease.
• Post “No Grease” signs over sink and floor
• Dispose of all fat, oil and grease in an
appropriate recycling bin.
• Keep drains clean by using vinegar and
warm water or commercial products to
dissolve grease. Be cautious of chemicals
and additives that claim to dissolve grease.
Some additives simply push the grease
farther down the pipe.
• Install a grease interceptor, grease trap, or
oil/water separator that is sized to handle the
grease or oil produced at your business.
• Have an approved grease and oil removal
company regularly maintain your grease
interceptor or oil/water separator. Keep
records of when your equipment is cleaned.
• Pour fat, oil or grease down drains or
• Use hot water to rinse grease off cookware,
utensils, dishes or surfaces.
Cleaning FOG build-up from sewers increases
maintenance costs for everyone in the sewer
system. FOG can create sewer overflows.
Keep our environment clean and avoid
unnecessary maintenance costs by keeping fat,
oil and grease out of our sewers.
Download this content in a PDF Brochure - Click Here
Managing Food Materials - Click Here
Fat, Oils and Grease Best Practices Factsheet - Click Here
Download Poster for your Kitchen - Click Here