More than 15 years ago, Santa Ana introduced its FOG program to reduce the number of blockages in the city's sewer lines and sewage overflows on to 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.
What is the most common culprit for blocked sewers? Fats, oils and grease or "FOG."
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.
So 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
Keeping Your Drains FOG Free
Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep your drains FOG free:
- Pour small amounts of grease into a nonrecyclable container (juice can, empty milk carton, coffee can, pet food can). Make sure the grease hardens before disposing of it in the trash.
- 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.
Freeze the Grease
Grease from cooking meat fats (bacon, sausage), gravy, cooking oil, and sauces may look harmless as a liquid, but when it cools it gets thick and sticky. When you pour grease down your drain, it sticks to pipes and eventually causes clogs and messy overflows.
One way to prevent backups in your home is to pour all bacon, fried chicken, and other cooking grease into a can and then into the freezer before tossing it in the trash.