Fats, Oils and Grease

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Elimination

What is FOG?

FOG are Fats, Oils, and Grease. It builds up in sewer pipes as food products are improperly disposed of:

Meat
Fats, lard, cooking oil, shortening
Butter & margarine
Food scraps
Baked goods
Sauces
Dairy products

What does FOG do to our sewer pipes?

When FOG gets into the sewer lines, it can cause blockages and backups. This can cause damage to your home or business, and potentially cause problems for your neighbors. No matter the scale, FOG build up is a public health concern.  Currently, one of the most common causes of sewer system back-ups in Woburn is related to FOG build-up in pipes!

Commercial properties with kitchens are required to have grease traps installed according to MA plumbing code and Woburn DPW regulations.  Commercial properties with certain industrial operations are similarly required to have proper oil/water or particulate separators installed.  Residential properties do not have these requirements in place, and therefore can be a significant source of FOG in City sewer systems.  For more information on grease traps or other commercial requirements please consult with DPW and the City Plumbing Inspector.

How can I prevent a FOG related backup?

Cool it, can it, trash it!

DO NOT dump fats, oil, and grease down the sink or floor drain or into toilets
DO NOT rinse dishes in hot water (more than 140F) – this may “melt” grease, but it will reform in the sewer main
DO NOT put FOG sources (e.g. meats, fried foods) down the garbage disposal
DO NOT use additives that “degrease” – many of these temporarily break up FOG, and it can reform in the sewer main
DO NOT hose down floors and work areas into floor drains that do not have grease traps

DO regularly clean and maintain grease traps/interceptors
DO collect FOG in containers and dispose of in the trash
DO scrape all food and FOG from plates, pots, and pans prior to washing and dispose of in trash
DO dry wipe pots and pans
DO use less FOG in cooking and baking