Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)

What Is FOG?

FOG stands for Fats, Oils and Grease. When FOG is poured down the drain, it sticks to the inside of sewer pipes. A buildup of FOG in the pipes restricts wastewater flow, eventually causing blockages. When wastewater cannot pass through a blockage, it results in backed up sewers that can overflow into your home and storm drains.

Common Examples

  • Cooking oils
  • Animal fats (bacon grease, turkey drippings, etc)
  • Dairy products (yogurts, creams and cheeses)
  • Salad dressings
  • Gravy

What Does FOG Do?

Leads to Costly Repairs

When FOG builds up in a sewer pipe, it makes it more difficult for wastewater to flow through the pipe. Both your household sewer pipes and the City's can become plugged with buildup. It is costly to clean the line and can cause damage to the pipes, requiring expensive repairs.

Causes Health Hazards

If sanitary sewers overflow from buildup, the wastewater in the line has to go somewhere. It typically comes back up drains in houses, but outside, the sewage can leak from manholes. People can unintentionally spread the sewage by driving through it, spreading it hundreds of feet.

Pollutes Our Waterways

When sewage comes up from a manhole, it flows or is spread to the edge of a street and enters storm drains, which lead to rivers, canals, stormwater basins and the groundwater supply. The sewage is hazardous and pollutes water sources used by both humans and animals.

How Do I Prevent Sewer Backups?

Do your part to prevent sewer backups: The easiest way to prevent the costly repairs from a sewer backup is to never pour FOG down sinks, drains, or toilets. Dispose of FOG properly in your trash can instead.

Infographic on preventing sewer backups due to fats, oils and grease

Do Your Part

  1. Scrape It: Wipe food scraps and FOG from plates and pans into the trash. Use strainers in your sink to catch food.
  2. Can ItPour unusable FOG into a sealed container, like a glass jar, to dispose of later.
  3. Cool ItAllow FOG to cool and solidify.
  4. Trash It: Dispose of unusable, solidified FOG properly in your trash can.