When FOG is dumped down the drain, it forms large, thick grease balls that clog pipes. Clogged pipes can result in sewer backups and spills, create environmental problems, cause traffic tie-ups or even flood homes and businesses. Commercial food-handling facilities contribute greatly to FOG buildup in sewer lines because of the amount of grease used in cooking and other food prep work. Preventing sewer backups from FOG blockages also saves money.
When sewer pipes back up on private property, the homeowner or business owner is responsible for the cleanup.
What Is Grease?
FOG Is Not Just Cooking Grease
- Bacon Grease
- Dairy Products
- Food Scraps from Meat
- Salad Dressing
- Ice Cream
Types of Grease Control Mechanisms (GCM's)
External Grease Interceptor Internal Grease Trap
Property of City of Bend, OR
Can it. Cool it. Throw it away.
- Can the grease! Keep an empty metal can and pour oil and grease into the can. Allow grease to cool in the container before throwing it in the trash.
- Wipe before washing. For greasy pans, pour the grease into a container and use a paper towel to wipe out the remaining grease in the pan prior to washing.
- Seal the oil. Liquid should be limited to no more than one-half gallon. Mix liquid vegetable oil with an absorbent material such as kitty litter or coffee grounds in a sealable container before throwing it in the trash.
- Keep drains clean by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Wait 10-15 minutes and then rinse with hot water.
- Don’t pour fat, oil or grease down drains or garbage disposals.
- Don’t use hot water to rinse grease off cookware, utensils, dishes or surfaces.
Tips for Businesses Managing FOG
- Strain or filter oil in deep fryers to extend the life of the cooking oil.
- Control the temperature of deep fryers to prevent oil from scorching and extend its life. Less oil in the grease interceptor means money saved in pumping and in new oil purchased.
- Recycle cooking oils and leftover grease into a storage container such as a barrel or bucket. Remember that grease is valuable — grease and oil can be recycled into other useful products. See your Yellow Pages for “grease traps” or “greases” to find grease collection companies or grease trap service providers.
- Instruct staff to be conservative about the use of FOG in food preparation.
- Don’t use your garbage disposal to grind up FOG and flush it down the drain.
- Use dry cleanup methods to reduce water consumption and save money! Remove FOG and food waste from pans by scraping or wiping before using water. Use rubber scrapers to remove FOG from cookware.
- Use absorbent paper to soak up FOG under fryer baskets.
- Use paper towels to wipe down work areas. Cloth towels will accumulate grease that will eventually end up in your drains when washing.
- Minimize the use of dish soap in dishwashing operations. Dish soap emulsifies FOG and enables it to pass through a grease interceptor. It will later coagulate in sewer lines.
- Maintain your grease trap. Many restaurants have a grease trap installed in the kitchen. In order to keep your grease trap working properly, you’ll need to have it cleaned periodically, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Quick FOG Ordinance Facts
“The Fats, Oil and Grease Program will reduce sanitary sewer overflows and blockages thus protecting public health and the environment by minimizing exposure to unsanitary conditions.”
“Program control will allow for an increase in sewer system efficiency reduce sewer line blockages and overflows; ultimately . . . .reduce maintenance costs.”
The food service establishment (FSE) must install, operate, and maintain grease control equipment.
“The program will require all FSE’s have a scheduled annual inspection unless otherwise deemed necessary by the director.”
“It is herein stated that the 25% rule shall be the mandated universal order for all contributors. The 25% rule is as follows, when a FOG control mechanism is sampled, the sum of the grease layer and the solids layer shall never exceed 25% of tank volume.”
At a minimum, all under the sink and in-floor grease traps should be pumped out weekly.
At a minimum, all external grease interceptors shall be pumped and maintained every ninety (90) days or when the 25% rule is reached. If this schedule is insufficient to the nature of the business, then more frequent pump outs may be required.
“All dishwasher units piping shall be constructed such that they do not flow into a grease interceptor, unless there is an adequate cooling time between dishwasher unit and grease interceptor. . . “ (This is for the outside interceptor units)
“All waste/wash water in excess of 140°F and dishwashers with a minimum temperature of 160°F shall not be discharged to any grease trap.” (This is for interior under the sink and in floor traps)
FOG Staff ask that FSE’S follow Best Management Practices to reduce unnecessary fat, oil, grease, and solids from discharging into the sewer.
The grandfathered status is in regards to equipment. If an FSE had equipment installed prior to April 1, 2015, that equipment could continue to be utilized until expansion of FSE hours, menu, seating or modifications to existing plumbing takes place. This is only in regards to equipment and GCM sizing. All other aspects of the program, sampling and maintenance, must continue to be followed as deemed by the ordinance.
You can view the ordinance, in its entirety through the Municipal Code Viewer
Frequently Used Forms:
- Understanding the Grease Removal and 25% Rule
- Best Management Practices
- Approved Hauler Listing
- Think Before You Throw
- How to Clean your Grease Trap
- Educational Info Spanish
- Educational Info Vietnamese
- Educational Info Thai
- Registration Form in English
- Registration Form in Spanish
- Registration Form in Vietnamese
- Registration Form in Thai
Don't Let Your Grease Trap Look Like This. . . .