More than 15 years ago, Santa Ana introduced its fats, oils, and grease control (FOG) program to reduce the number of blockages in the city's sewer lines and sewage overflows onto our streets. Raw sewage that overflows on to our streets often makes its way into our storm water drains and waterways, polluting our city and ocean.
Since launching the FOG program, the City has reduced the number of public sewer spills dramatically. Now, less FOG is being poured into our drains, thanks to all the restaurants that adhere to our program guidelines and to residents who are aware of its potential health and environmental hazards.
Read this article, where Robert Hernandez, water quality supervisor, talks about fats, oils and grease (or "FOG" for short) as the most common culprit for blocked sewers and Santa Ana's FOG program. Listen to this NPR story about 'fatbergs' where he offered tips to reduce them:
The next time you think about pouring the excess grease from your frying pan down the drain, think again. Do yourself a favor by following a few simple tips. Doing so will save you an emergency call to the plumber and help protect our natural resources.
Where does FOG come from?
- Meat fats (bacon, sausage)
- Cooking oil
- Milk, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream
- Cream based sauces
- Salad dressings, cheeses, mayonnaise
- Butter or margarine
- Food scraps
- Baking products
Dos and don'ts to help keep your drains FOG-free
- Pour small amounts of grease into a non-recyclable container (juice can, empty milk carton, coffee can, pet food can). Make sure the grease hardens before disposing of it in the trash. You can also place the can or container filled with grease in the freezer to expedite the process.
- Before washing, scrape and dry-wipe pots, pans, and dishes with paper towels and dispose of materials in the trash.
- Minimize the use of your garbage disposal. Foods containing FOG can get caught in the plumbing and cause sewer backups.
- Use a sink strainer to catch food items, then empty the strainer into the trash.
- Never pour FOG down sink drains or toilets.
- Never pour FOG down garbage disposals.
- Never pour food scraps down the garbage disposal.