Fats, Oils and Grease (F.O.G.) Information

Fats, Oils and Grease (F.O.G.) Information

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) enter the sanitary sewer through sinks, floor drains, dishwashers, and other kitchen equipment plumbed to the sanitary sewer. FOG and solid food waste entering your drains may cause blockages in either your plumbing or the sanitary sewer lines by building up along the walls of the pipes. This can lead to a sanitary sewer overflow inside your home, adjacent buildings, streets, or the environment. These spills are a safety hazard that can endanger public health.

What is FOG?
It may seem harmless to pour and scrape your fats, oils, and grease (FOG) down the kitchen drain, but it causes real trouble for your pipes, the sewer – and yourself! Common cooking FOG include:

Any type of cooking oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, etc.
Salad dressings
Bacon grease
Meat fat
Dairy products

All of these foods can add FOG to you home sewer and to the entire wastewater collection system perhaps leading to Sanitary Sewer Overflow at your house, your neighbor’s house or out in the sewer collection system leading to environmental issues and can endanger public health.  Maybe don’t need this repeat.

For more information on keeping Fats, Oils and Grease out of the sewer system:  https://www.tceq.texas.gov/assistance/water/wastewater/fog

Residential: Keep Kitchen Drains Fat-Free
The fats, oil and grease (FOG) found in common cooking items and ingredients can cause buildups inside your house plumbing, sewer lateral, and the larger sewer mains in the street. When these items are disposed of by pouring into the kitchen sink or other drain, FOG will stick to the inside of the pipes. Over time deposits will build up, eventually clogging the sewer line. If the drain lines in your house clog, it can be expensive and messy to have the grease blockage removed.  FOG in the sewer line also increases the costs to maintain the City's sewers, which increase sewer rates for all customers.

To reduce grease-related problems at home:

Link to Lets Tackle the Grease in this Kitchen (English) PDF

If oils or grease remain in the pan after cooking: Let it cool to a safe temperature and then pour or transfer it to a sealed, disposable container and place it in the trash. Never pour hot grease or oil into the trash or sink!

Remove as much oil and grease from pots, pans and plates prior to washing them in the sink or putting in the dishwasher.

Save jars, cans and heavy plastic containers from items you already have in your pantry such as pickles, olive and spaghetti sauce jars; peanut butter and vinegar (heavy) plastic containers; and soup, soda, coffee and baby formula cans.  Then use our handy grease scraper to remove food and any FOG from pots pans and plates throw the food and FOG into the trash.  Finally wipe dishes with a paper towel and throw the paper towel in the trash before putting dishes pots and pans into the dishwasher.

The City of Waxahachie offers free Food Scraper and can lid, pick yours up at City hall.

Ignoring these easy steps could result in a grease blockage in your plumbing system, which can be expensive to remedy. Backed up or overflowing sinks and toilets are a possible result- which is messy, unsanitary, and could damage your home.

FOG scraper and lid

Common FOG Myths

Running Hot Tap Water:
Running hot tap water down the drain will not help grease float through the sewer pipe because the water will eventually cool as it flows through the pipe and the grease will become solid again.

Room Temperature Oils:
If oils that remain liquid at room temperature (such as extra virgin olive oil or toasted nut oils) are disposed down the drain, they will contribute to FOG buildup in sewer pipes, where temperatures can dip low enough to cause solidification of these oils.

Soaps and Detergents:
The use of soaps and detergents that claim to dissolve grease will not protect against grease buildup. Soaps may initially break up grease, but as it travels further downstream it will eventually lose this ability and grease will begin to accumulate in your home's plumbing and sewer laterals.

Garbage disposals:
Running the garbage disposal will do nothing to protect your drain lines from accumulating grease. Garbage disposals only shred leftover fats into smaller pieces; they do not get rid of the fats that create grease.

The best solution is always prevention, so keep FOG out of your pipes and the sewer system to avoid the inconvenience of having to call a drain cleaning service. If your sewer does back up at your home, please call the City of Waxahachie at (469) 309-4320 during business hours, or after hours call (469) 309-4400.  A crew will be dispatched out to check to see if the clog is on the City line or if you will need to call a plumber if the clog is on the resident’s side.

Best Management Practices for Food Establishments

Grease Control Device Maintenance and Recordkeeping
Grease Control Device Recordkeeping Log
Grease Interceptor Maintenance
Grease Trap Maintenance
Proper Cleaning of Exhaust Hoods, Filters, Ducting, Roof Fans, and Floor Mats
Prohibitions on Chemicals, Enzymes, or Bacteria in Grease Traps and Interceptors

Service Line Definition:
The service line is the plumbing connection extending five (5) feet from the residence to the property line. The service line is part of the Property Owners' assets. It is the Property Owners' responsibility to maintain, and when necessary to repair or replace defective sewer service line.

The resident may notice difficulties with slow drains and backups.

The service line may require replacement or repair if the line is incapable of performing its job of moving wastewater from the property to the sanitary sewer collection system. In general, a qualified Plumber should be able to advise a Property Owner whether the service line can be fixed through repair, or if a total replacement is required.