Town of Woodland
Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG)
Please take a moment to read this notification. It can save you some money and some trouble with your sewer lines.
Is fat, oil and grease (FOG) a problem?
YES! Fats, oil and grease (FOG) do not mix with water and has a tendency to separate from a liquid solution. When fats, oil and grease are poured down the drain, it sticks to the inside of the sewer pipe walls, creating a buildup that restricts the water flow. This problem requires the pipes to be cleaned more frequently, causes pipes to be replaced sooner than expected, and causes blockages that can result in sewer overflows.
How does fats, oil and grease (FOG) create a sewer blockage?
FOG in a warm liquid form may appear to be harmless since it flows easily down the drain. However, as the liquid cools, the FOG solidifies and floats to the top of the other liquid inside the sewer pipes. The layer of FOG sticks to the inside of the sewer pipes, and over time, the flow of wastewater becomes restricted and causes backups or overflows.
What products contain fats, oil and/or grease (FOG)?
FOG are natural byproducts of the cooking and food preparation process. Common sources include food scraps, meat fats, cooking oils, lard, baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, marinades, dairy products, shortening, butter and margarine.
What can I do to keep fats, oil and grease (FOG) out of the sewer and help prevent a grease related sewer overflow from occurring at my house or on my street?
EVERYONE plays an important role in preventing FOG from damaging our sewer system. The following easy tips can help prevent a sewer overflow in your home or neighborhood.
1. FOG should NEVER be poured down the sink. Sink drains and garbage disposals are not designed to properly handle these materials.
2. Before washing, scrape and wipe dry pots, pans and dishes with paper towels and dispose of these materials in the trash can.
3. Pour FOG into a disposable container, such as an empty jar or coffee can. DO NOT use cheap paper or plastic containers to store hot FOG, as these may melt or burn through, causing burns or damage to property. Once the liquid has cooled off and solidified, place the lid on the container and place it in the trash can.
4. Avoid relying on the garbage disposal to get rid of food scraps. The garbage disposal chops up food into small pieces but can still cause blockages in the pipe. Use sink strainers to catch food items, and then empty the strainer into the trash can.
Why is it important to properly dispose of FOG?
Sewer system maintenance in neighborhoods that experience sewer blockages and backups due to FOG is expensive and can contribute to the amount that customers pay for service. A sewer blockage or backup can also result in expensive repairs to the home.
Special note for restaurants and residents with a food preparation license or any establishment handling and preparing food:
You MUST have a grease trap or interceptor installed to keep FOG out of the sewer system, and it must be cleaned frequently. Failure to do so may result in fines and/or water disconnection. Never put solid scraps into a grease trap or interceptor. Routine, sometimes even daily, maintenance is the key to prevent sewer blockages. Remember that grease dissolving products simply pass grease further down the pipes where they can still form a clog. Hot flushing of a grease trap or interceptor is prohibited as well. FOG leave a trail that can be traced back to the establishment. The Town of Woodland has the right to inspect your grease trap or interceptor and your maintenance records at any given time during normal business hours.
With your help, we can help keep fats, oil, and grease out of our sewer system, which will help to keep your/our operating costs down.