Commercial businesses that are likely to discharge fats, oil and grease (FOG) into the sewer system are governed by the requirements of the SPMUD Sewer Code, specifically under Chapter 3 – Fats, Oils & Grease.
Information regarding the District’s Commercial FOG program is included in the “Fats, Oils and Grease Program for Food Service Establishments.” PDF of Commercial FOG Program
Residential FOG Program
What is FOG? Fats, Oils & Grease
FOG is an acronym for Fats, Oils, and Grease which is commonly found in wastewater. Cooking oils, condiments such as salad dressings and sandwich spreads, meat juices, lard, shortening, dairy products, sauces and butter/margarine, are just some household kitchen items that produce FOG.
Why is FOG a problem?
FOG can clog pipes in your home and in the public sewer pipes. How does this happen? Well, too often, grease is washed into the plumbing system, usually through the kitchen sink. Grease sticks to the insides of the sewer pipes (both on your property and in the streets) and accumulates over time, which greatly restricts or completely blocks the flow of sewage causing sewer backups known as sanitary sewer overflows (SSO’s). SSO’s can create serious public health hazards and damage property, which is expensive and unpleasant to clean up.
What can you do?
The most important of these recommendations is to never put FOG down the drain. Even the smallest amount of fats, oils and grease will solidify and stick to sewer. You might think that it can’t do any harm to allow a small amount of grease to go down the drain as you’re cleaning up, especially if you rinse with very hot water. But hot water cools quickly, and so does hot grease. When it cools, it solidifies. Imagine that tiny amount of grease that slips down your drain (multiplied several thousand times by all the sanitary sewer customers) solidifying as it cools, sticking to the insides of sewer pipes, trapping food particles and all kinds of other debris in the wastewater. Over time, this FOG can grow until the flow of water is obstructed and sewage begins to back up.
Even with the most diligent of efforts some FOG will find its way into the drain, but following the guidelines listed below will have a tremendous impact on our battle to prevent FOG related SSO’s.
- Larger quantities of fats, oils and grease left in pans from cooking should be scraped off using a spatula and placed in a can or jar and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Once you have filled the container you can call SPMUD and we’ll come to your house and pick up your FOG for FREE! To learn more, click HERE!
- Alternatively, take your FOG to the Western Placer Waste Management Authority’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW) www.wpwma.com.
- Wipe FOG from pots, pans and dishware with a paper towel before washing.
- Commercial additives, including detergents, which claim to dissolve grease, only pass grease down the line and cause problems in other areas. This does not solve the problem!
- Home garbage disposals do not keep grease out of your sewer system. In fact, garbage disposals help contribute to the problem of blocked sanitary sewer pipes. Food particles stick to the grease that clings to pipe walls and speeds the blockage of pipes. Garbage disposals use large amounts of water and electricity. Reduce or eliminate usage to lower utility bills.
What's in it for you?
Your efforts will help to…
- Prevent disruptions to your sewer service
- Prevent costly and inconvenient cleanups inside your home.
- Prevent damage to the environment. The EPA has determined that SSO’s are the number one cause of pollution in our national waterways.
- Help keep costs down. If the District is responsible for a clean-up, additional manpower and monies are spent on an event that could have been avoided. Associated costs may include containment, removal, and disposal of contaminated materials, emergency pipe line cleaning, disinfectants, sampling and testing, record keeping and documentation, public notification, EPA enforcement actions, property damages and exposure to untreated wastewater (pathogens and viruses). These costs will eventually trickle down into customers’ sewer bills.
Help protect your environment
This is very important for you and our community. Keeping grease out of the drain benefits the homeowner, the District, and the environment by reducing sanitary sewer overflows (SSO’s), and keeping the maintenance and treatment costs down, which helps keep your sewer bill as low as possible.