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

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What is FOG?

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) come from meats, butter, margarine, cooking oil, lard, dressings, food scraps, sauces, gravy and dairy products.  Every day people pour these down their drains clogging up their pipes which eventually causes smelly, costly backups in their house and in the city’s sewer system.


Clogged Wastewater Pipe

Why is FOG a Problem?

When FOG goes down the drain, it hardens and causes sewer pipes to clog.  If this happens, there is a high risk of a sewer backup (overflow) where raw sewage actually backs up or “overflows” into your home, yard, neighborhood and streets.

Any substance that goes down your drain, from your bathtubs, sinks and toilets, flows through the sewer pipes in your home and when the wrong substances go down, pipes get clogged and everything that went down, comes back up…through your sink, bathtubs and toilets, into your home, lawn, street and anywhere else it can.


FOG In Pipes Can Result In…

  • Raw sewage overflowing into your home, yard, streets, etc.
  • An expensive and unpleasant cleanup that often has to be paid by the homeowner
  • Property damage often not covered by homeowners insurance
  • Potential contact with raw sewage, which could lead to illness and contamination


How to Dispose of FOG


  • Collect grease in a container and dispose of it in the trash
  • Scrape excess grease and food scraps into the trash
  • Keep strainers in your drain to catch food scraps and solids
  • Use cat litter to absorb oil.  Mix litter and oil, pour into bag and seal, then put in trash


  • Pour grease down the drain
  • Use garbage disposal for grease or oily food scraps
  • Rely on hot water and dish detergents, they do not dissolve grease


Garbage Disposals, Hot Water and Dish Detergents

  • Garbage disposals DO NOT prevent grease from building up in your plumbing system.  Garbage disposals only shred solid material into smaller pieces.
  • Hot water and dish detergents only remove the grease from your plates, but the grease washes down the drain where it cools down and can build up and clog sinks and drain lines to your home.
   Overflowing Manhole
Pour cooking grease into a can  Commerical grease / Overflowing Manhole

Food service establishments also contribute oil, grease and food particles to the sanitary sewer. Reducing Fats, Oils, and Grease in Your Commercial Kitchen

How commercial kitchens can reduce disposing of fats, oil, and grease down the drain. Any business or institution with a commercial kitchen has to deal with fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Commercial kitchens are found in restaurants, hospitals, churches, hotels, nursing homes, mobile food preparation facilities, etc. Using best management practices such as those listed on the poster Let’s Tackle the Grease in This Kitchen can:

  • Lessen the likelihood of losing revenue to emergency shutdowns caused by sewage backups and expensive bills for plumbing and property repairs.
  • Lessen the likelihood of lawsuits by nearby businesses over sewer problems caused by your negligence.
  • Lessen the likelihood of lawsuits from workers or the public exposed to raw sewage during a backup.
  • Reduce the number of times you have to pump and clean your grease interceptors or traps.
  • Lessen the likelihood of surcharges from your local sewer authority, or charge backs for repairs to sewer pipes attributable to your FOG.
  • Reduce testing requirements imposed due to a history of violations.
  • Lessen the likelihood of enforcement action by local authorities due to violations of ordinances.


(A)     Discharges requiring a trap include:

(1)     Grease or waste containing grease in excessive amounts;

(2)     Oil;

(3)     Sand;

(4)     Flammable wastes; and

(5)     Other harmful ingredients.

(B)     Any person responsible for discharges requiring a trap shall at his own expense and as required by the approving authority:

(1)     Provide equipment and facilities of a type and capacity approved by the approving authority;

(2)     Locate the trap in a manner that provides ready and easy accessibility for cleaning and inspection; and

(3)     Maintain the trap in effective operating condition.


What is a grease trap or grease interceptor?        

A grease trap is a device that is typically installed directly to a sink inside the facility.  A grease interceptor is usually outside in the ground.  Both of these devices are designed to capture excess solids and grease so they are not discharged.  Only food-related wastewater and mop sinks are routed to these devices. 

Sanitary waste from restrooms should never be plumbed to these devices.  Routine maintenance and cleaning are required to ensure these devices perform properly. Currently the City does not have a mandatory pumping frequency for grease devices. 

However, the City does require proper operation and maintenance to occur and the City does apply the best management practice of the 25% rule.  This means that whenever the solids and grease content in the grease device exceeds 25% of the device, it must be serviced. When devices are serviced the Texas Administrative Code Title 30, Part 1, Chapter 312, Subchapter G, Paragraph 312.143 requires that the liquid waste hauler pump out the entire content of the device. 

The liquid waste hauler must ensure the device is completely evacuated.  Keep a copy of the service ticket on-site for City review.