FOG, or food-related grease and oil, is often a problem for restaurant owners. FOG can cause serious problems in your sewer system and even lead to fines from the city. However, you can take steps to prevent FOG in your restaurants and ensure that you don’t get fined for illegal discharge into the sewer system.

What is FOG?

FOG is a mix of fats, oils, and greases commonly found in food preparation areas. FOG can also be introduced into the sewer system through improper disposal of other household products such as soaps, hair care products, and cosmetics.

FOG is a major cause of sewer blockages which can result in:

  • Sewer overflows – when there is too much flow for the pipes to handle (often caused by rainfall)
  • Sewer backups – when heavy flow pushes waste out of the pipe, causing backups in homes or businesses.
  • Sewer odors – caused by bacteria breaking down food particles from pipes.

Why is FOG important to avoid in your sewers?

FOG is a serious problem. FOG creates blockages, overflows, and backups in sewers. Sewer overflows can cause contamination of surface water bodies, which can be hazardous to health and the environment when they enter our waterways. If sewer overflows flow directly into rivers or streams without being treated first, they can also lead to algal blooms (the growth of algae in water), lower dissolved oxygen levels, and affect aquatic life habitat within those waterways. FOG also causes odor problems for residents near sewer outfalls or treatment plants that discharge into local streams or rivers.

Ordinances for preventing FOG are becoming more stringent due to the financial costs associated with dealing with these issues mentioned above, so municipalities/cities need to ensure everyone complies with these requirements regardless of whether they build/own/operate their own wastewater collection systems or not, because if this happens, then there will be higher costs associated with cleaning up spills caused by illegal discharges over time – which ultimately could lead to higher taxes paid by all property owners across town!

How do restaurants avoid FOG?

Restaurants can avoid FOG by utilizing grease traps, grease separators, or grease interceptors. A grease trap is a U-shaped pipe that collects fat and oil in a trap under the sink. If you have a restaurant with large amounts of FOG, you may need to add more than one grease trap to your kitchen’s plumbing system. Grease separators are similar to grease traps but are mounted above ground level instead of below ground level like most other types of wastewater treatment systems.

Grease interceptors are another option for restaurants looking for ways to reduce their FOG emissions into local sewer systems. Grease interceptors typically require less maintenance than other types of wastewater treatment systems because they don’t use chemicals or any other special equipment; instead, they rely on gravity alone, which makes them an ideal option if your budget is tight but still want something effective when dealing with high levels of fat and oil buildup inside your pipes!

Is there a way to measure FOG accumulation in the sewer system?

There are several ways to measure FOG accumulation in the sewer system.

Sewer System FOG Measurement: This is the most common method for measuring FOG accumulation. A small sample of wastewater from your sewer system is taken and analyzed for content of solid materials such as fats, oil, and grease. The results from this test can be used to determine if you are meeting local ordinances or not.
Sewer System Containment Tank Monitoring: This is another way to check your compliance with local ordinances by having an inspector come out and take a closer look at your wastewater treatment plant to see if any violations may exist due to overflow or poor maintenance practices. They will usually check things like storage tanks that hold wastewater before it goes into the treatment process, as well as pump rooms where pumps that move untreated waste are located (if there are any). They also might request samples from these locations to be tested for solids such as fats/oils/greases (FOGs).

How can you ensure you stay compliant with local ordinances to avoid FOG?

  • Understand the local ordinances and ensure you have the right equipment to comply.
  • Train your employees on how to avoid FOG.
  • Have a plan for managing FOG, including who will be responsible and what happens if someone is caught violating an ordinance.
  • Have a plan for cleaning up any wastewater that gets discharged into public sewers due to illegal discharges of fats, oil, and grease (FOG).


We hope this article has helped to clarify the importance of avoiding FOG and how it can affect your restaurant’s wastewater system. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested in learning more about controlling FOG.