What is "FOG"...? Fats, Oils, & Grease Info

About 'FOG?'

FOG - Fat, Oil, Grease - Contain It, Don't Drain ItFOG is Fats, Oils, and Grease and is generated by food preparation and from food products including:

  • Cooking oil, shortening, butter, margarine, and lard
  • Meat Fats
  • Food scraps
  • Baked goods
  • Sauces
  • Dairy products

Residential homes, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, and apartments all generate fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Most FOG results from cooking meats or using oil or grease to cook. Salad dressing, marinades, sauces, and other fat-containing foods contribute to FOG. FOG gets into the sanitary sewer system by direct discharge or through the disposal of food waste containing FOG, can build up within municipal sewer systems, and thus could create sewer overflow problems. Once in the sewer system, FOG can build up on the interior of the pipes, reduce pipe capacity, and increase blockages.

Why FOG Is Harmful

When FOG gets into the sewer lines, it can cause blockages and backups. This can cause damage to homes and businesses, as well as create a public health problem.

How to Prevent FOG Buildup

  • Do not dump fats, oils, and grease down sinks, toilets, or floor drains
  • Do not rinse dishes in hot water (more than 140° Fahrenheit) - this may 'melt' grease, but it will reform in the sewer main
  • Do not put FOG sources (i.e. meats, fried foods, etc.) down the garbage disposal
  • Do not use additives that 'degrease' as many of these may temporarily break up the FOG, but it will 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 it in the trash
  • Do scrape food and FOG from plates, pots, and pans prior to washing and dispose of them in the trash
  • Do dry wipe pots and pans
  • Do use less FOG in cooking and baking

Keep Fats, Oils, & Grease (FOG) out of Town Sewers!

  • Never pour grease down drains or toilets
  • Do not dispose of FOG or fatty foods in the garbage disposal
  • Collect cooking grease in cans and dispose of it in the trash
  • Use strainer baskets in sinks to catch food scraps
  • Dry-wipe pots, grills, and dishes before washing
  • Do not use "degreasers" to clean up - some just temporarily break down grease
  • Reduce the use of FOG in cooking and cook fewer fatty foods

Residential Recommendations & Commercial Requirements for FOG

Rockport's food establishments, inns, and other commercial institutions that produce FOG are required (by state and local law) to have an installed grease trap or an interceptor to ensure that the fats, oils, and grease do not enter the Town's sanitary sewer system. The Board of Health and DPW urge residents to be vigilant in their individual practices of disposing of these liquids that can damage the Town's sanitary sewer system and potentially - if the system gets clogged - have negative results structurally and health-wise. The "Dos and Don'ts" above should be practiced as much as possible by the commercial and residential population alike.