Environmental Health and Safety

Wastewater — Keeping Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) out of the Sewer System

Use the answers to the following questions to help prevent wastewater blockages and sewer overflows on campus and in your home.

Why is it important to keep fats, oils, and grease out of the sewer system?

Fats, oils and grease can create blockages in the sewer system, which can cause sanitary sewer manholes to overflow onto the campus and enter storm drains. This allows fats, oils and grease to contaminate local waters, and exposes people to untreated wastewater, which is a public-health hazard.

What can I do to keep fats, oils, and grease out of the sewer system?

Do not pour fats, oils, and grease down the drain. This is the most important thing you can do to prevent them from entering the sewer system, because the fats, oils, and grease poured down kitchen drains accumulate inside sewer pipes. As these substances build up, they restrict the flow in the pipe and can cause untreated wastewater to back up onto campus, resulting in high costs for cleanup and restoration. Thousands of dollars are spent on plumbing emergencies each year to deal with grease blockages and pump out grease traps and interceptors. These expenses can be significant.

How can I reduce fats, oils, and grease in my commercial kitchen?