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Fats, Oils & Grease

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FOG stands for fats, oils and grease, and is the No. 1 cause of clogged sewer lines and and overflows.

FOG - or fats, oils and grease - comes from prepping and cooking a variety of common foods. This includes meat, vegetable oil, butter, margarine, soup, gravies, sauces, salad dressing, pastas, nuts, avocados and other fatty, greasy foods, including meats and fish, vegetable oils, butter, margarine, soups, gravies, sauces, salad dressing, pastas and other fatty, greasy or oily items that dissolve in water.

When poured down the drain or flushed down a toilet, FOG hardens into a gooey, sticky clog, and can cause sewer lines to back up, overflow or break. This not only causes an awful mess, but presents a variety of health hazards, and costs a lot of money to repair. For restaurants, it can also mean several days without being open for business.

FOG doesn't just affect your plumbing lines. It can also cause back-ups in the city's sewer mains, meaning you and your neighbors may be without sewer service for several hours at a time while the lines are being repaired.

The largest FOG clog ever was found in the sewers of London and was estimated at 20 tons!

Want to avoid a FOG clog? Try these simple tips.

Just Can It!

Keep an aluminum soup or coffee can handy and use it to dump your left-over fats, oils and grease into. Then put a lid on the can and put it in the freezer. When the can is full, throw it away in the regular trash, then start all over with another empty can.

No mess, no worries, no plumbing problems.

More FOG disposal tips

  • Toss all food scraps in the trash instead of the sink
  • Wipe dishes and cookware off with a paper towel before putting them in the sink or dishwasher. Throw the greasy paper towel in the trash.
  • Reuse small amounts of cooking oil as often as possible. When through, pour it into a grease can or container and throw it in the trash (when it’s cool).
  • Reuse or recycle large amounts of cooking oil. Take it to a local recycler or rendering company.
  • For toilets, use only toilet paper, not wipes. Even those marked "flushable" don't break down enough to keep clogs from happening. Remember the "3 Ps" rule - only flush things that start with P - pee, poo and (toilet) paper.

FOG myths

  • Myth: Washing FOG down with dish-washing soap helps break it up.
    Truth. This only passes the FOG down the line to cause problems elsewhere.
  • Myth: Running hot water will dissolve the FOG by heating it up.
    Truth: Hot water may melt FOG temporarily, but it as it cools, it will re-solidify later down the line.
  • Myth: Using the garbage disposal eliminates FOG in the drain.
    Truth: Garbage disposals may break up certain solid materials, however, the fats, oils and grease will still cling to the pipes.

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