Thanksgiving brings friends and families together. Unfortunately, it may also bring an emergency visit from a plumber, if you're not careful. 

What is FOG?

FOG refers specifically to fats, oils and grease entering the sewer system when poured down drains in homes, apartments, restaurants, industry, and public facilities.

fog pipe

As a byproduct of cooking, FOG is usually found in:

  • Baking goods
  • Butter, lard, shortening
  • Cooking oil
  • Fats and oil from cooked meats
  • Food scraps
  • Gravy
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces
  • Sour cream

Why is FOG a problem?

Blockage can lead to sewer overflows on your property. All too often, fats, oils, and grease are disposed of improperly during food preparation and kitchen clean-up. When poured down the drain, FOG can build up, blocking sanitary sewer lines. This accumulation not only reduces the capacity of the wastewater collection system, but it also alters its effectiveness.

In severe cases, blockage can lead to:

  • Sewage backups into homes and businesses and
  • Sewers that overflow onto roadways and property, eventually flow into local waterways, causing contamination. 

Tips on How to Avoid Sewer Clogs from Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)

The easiest way to solve the grease problem and help prevent overflows of raw sewage is to keep this material out of the sewer system. Through education and by adopting certain habits, it is easy to minimize FOG sources at home.

In the kitchen, fats, oils and grease (FOG) comes mostly from pre-rinsing dishes or washing pots and pans. When cooking FOG is allowed to go down the drain, it cools in the wastewater system and sticks to pipes, creating FOG buildup. The buildup causes clogs and backups in homes and businesses, wastewater overflows and spills onto private property, streets, and local surface waters., hence affecting rates and can also create public health problems.

Tips to keep your drains fat-free

  • Pour cooled fats, oils and grease into a container and put the container in the trash. If you don’t have a container, place tin foil into a coffee cup or similar, add FOG, allow to cool and dispose.
  • Before washing, use a paper napkin or paper towel to wipe FOG from dishes and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Use sink strainers to catch food waste.
  • Put food scraps in the trash, not through the garbage disposal. The best way to handle grease and fats is to scrape them off or pour them into containers and dispose of them through the trash disposal. Never put fats or grease down the sink drains or into the toilet.