Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)
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 environment.
Impact of FOG
Preventing sewer backups from FOG blockages saves residents money and protects the environment. When sewer pipes on private property back up, the homeowner is responsible for the cleanup. For example, if a resident regularly pours grease down a drain, it will eventually cool, harden and form a blockage in the sewer pipe. Sewage then backs up through floor drains and toilets at the lowest point in the house. A plumber will have to be hired to clean the sewer and possibly repair plumbing inside the home. Cleanup costs can be expensive. Residents can help control the problem by properly disposing of fat, oil and grease. Everyone is part of the solution.
The City recently passed an ordinance (No. 2017-10) to address regulations for FOG with the goals of:
(1) Preventing the introduction of pollutants into the wastewater system which will interfere with the operation of the system or contaminate the resulting sludge, or will pose a hazard to the health or welfare of the people or of employees of the wastewater systems;
(2) Preventing the introduction of pollutants into the wastewater system which will pass inadequately treated through the system into receiving waters, the atmosphere or the environment, or otherwise be incompatible with the system;
(3) Improving the opportunity to recycle or reclaim wastewater or sludge from the system in an economical and advantageous manner; and
(4) Providing for the recovery of the costs from users of the wastewater collection and treatment system sufficient to administer regulatory activities and meet the costs of the operation, maintenance, improvement or replacement of the system.