Societies use billions of dollars to unplug or replace pipes that are blocked by grease annually. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are the common wastewater pollutants. The majority of FOG is insoluble, which means it doesn’t mix well with water. FOG floats on water and clings to dry surfaces as a result of this. This is why grease accumulates first at the top of drain lines. As more FOG is pumped down a line, it will eventually clog. FOG that does not accumulate in drain lines eventually ends up in the sewer system. These overflows can contaminate our streams with untreated sewage, producing major problems of water quality. It can also clog up into basements, causing damage to properties posing a health risk to the general population. Here is all you need to know about how FOG (Fats, Oil, Grease) contributes to the pollution of our freshwater and saltwater.

How do fats, oils, and grease contribute to water pollution?

Fats, oils, and grease enter the sewer system when they are poured or flushed down your sinks, drains, or toilets. As a result, they cool, harden and stick to the inner walls of sewer pipes. As more fats, oils, and grease are fed to the system, these sewer obstructions build up and harden, eventually plugging the pipes altogether. As a result, they end up contaminating the fresh water and saltwater. The clogs are extremely difficult and expensive to remove because of their hardness.

Sources of FOG

FOG (Fats, Oil, Grease) are found in kitchens as a by-product of food preparation. Here are some examples of F.O.G:

  • Cooking oil (vegetable, canola, corn, olive)
  • Salad dressing
  • Gravy
  • Bacon and sausage grease
  • Peanut butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Butter and margarine
  • Dairy products like; yogurt, milk, and ice cream.
    When these products are spilled down sinks, garbage disposals, or stormwater drains, they cause F.O.G. pollution.

Do’s and Don’ts of FOG


  • After using your cooking oil, you can recycle it or properly dispose of it by pouring it into a sealable container and throwing it away.
  • If you have a large quantity of FOG, contact your local solid waste agency.
  • Instead of throwing food scraps in the sink, put them in the garbage cans.
  • Before rinsing your oily pan and dishes, wipe them with a dry paper towel.
  • Always run cold water over your pans and dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Because of the way water will liquefy the fats, oils, and grease from the plates and go into the sewer pipes. As a result, when the hot water cools, Fog will block the pipes.
  • Mixing a lot of oil with clay cat litter is a good idea. When the oil has been absorbed, pour the contents of the trash bag into it, seal it, and dispose of it in regular trash.
  • Never use a food grinder as a garbage disposal. FOG is not eliminated by grinding food before rinsing it down the drain; it just reduces the size of the particles. Even if your food scraps aren’t greasy, they can clog your home’s sewer lines.
  • Cooking oil, bacon grease, pan drippings, salad dressings, and sauces should not be poured down the sink or toilet, or into storm drains.
  • When cleaning oily dishes, stay away from scraped plates. If you clean them, the grease will end up in the sewage.
  • To avoid clogging septic tanks, do not flush FOGs down the drain.
  • Avoid running water over pans, dishes, fryers, or griddles to avoid sending oil and fat down the drain.

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