Help Keep Our Environment Clean, Keep F.O.G. Out Of Our Sewers
What is F.O.G.?
oil, and grease, or "FOG", typically are by-products
of cooking. They usually are found in such items as food scraps,
meat fats, margarine, butter, cooking oil, dairy products and
City of Washington has a "Grease Trap Policy" that regulates
commercial establishments, such as restaurants, cafeterias, and
supermarkets, that contribute FOG to the city's Sanitary Sewer
System. However, residential customers also are significant contributors.
Even though the City does not have a grease trap policy to regulate
residential customers, there are limits for the amount of oil
and grease that can be put into the sewer system. The limit is
one hundred milligrams per liter (100 mg/l), or in simpler terms
one (1) pound of oil and grease for every ten thousand (10,000)
gallons of wastewater.
Fats, oils & grease
community sewer systems attribute the cause of ninety percent
(90%) of all backed up sewers and sanitary sewer overflows to
blockages caused by FOG. After oil and grease is dumped into a
sink or toilet, it begins to cool and gel, sticking to the walls
of the drain pipes and sewer lines. Over time, this buildup can
reduce the inside width of the pipe to a point that the pipe cannot
carry the wastewater being dumped into it. Once this happens,
pipes and manholes begin to overflow, dumping raw sewage into
homes, yards, streets and storm drains. These overflows can damage
property, harm the environment and create health hazards.
What can you do to keep "FOG" out of our sewers?
- Never pour fats, oils or grease into sink drains.
- Never use a toilet as a wastebasket.
- Use a "Dry Cleanup Method": Use a paper towel or rubber spatula to
scrape wet scraps from pots, pans and other cooking utensils
into a can or trash for disposal. Solid waste can accommodate
ten percent (10%) liquid, so these scrapings, as well as gravies
and other oily sauces, can be sent to the garbage can.
- Put food scraps in the trash can, not the sewer system.
you have questions concerning "FOG" and its effects
on the Sanitary Sewer System, call the Water Resources Division
message from the City of Washington
Public Works Department