What Is FOG Pollution?

September 7, 2018

Fats, oils and grease (FOG) are produced in commercial kitchens and restaurants in abundance. FOG encompasses the leftover grease and fatty substances from cooking oil, butter, meat, milk and other fatty products. While they are natural, FOG materials can have hefty consequences on sewer systems if they are not disposed of properly.

FOG pollution occurs when fats and oils are dumped down the sewer system with water and the oils and fats cause problems within the pipes and wastewater treatment facilities. FOG pollution can have disastrous and costly consequences, which is why FOG waste removal is now so heavily regulated in most countries.

Understanding the problems FOG causes

Sewer pipes are not equipped to filter out fats, oils and grease from water content being pumped to waste treatment facilities. When you pour fats or oils down the sink, the fatty substances separate from the water because they are lighter and end up solidifying inside the pipes. This can happen inside residences, commercial businesses and the main sewer pipes running beneath your city.

When FOG solidifies, it has the potential to cause major blockages, potentially leading to sewage backup in your home or business and even overflows in the streets. Not only are these backups disgusting, but it also costs cities and building owners a lot more money to have their pipes cleared and maintained regularly. Sewage backups also have harmful effects on the environment.

How to prevent FOG pollution in New Orleans, LA

In order to prevent FOG pollution, all food preparation sites should install proper grease trap systems. There are two major types of FOG-trapping systems: grease traps and grease interceptors.

Grease traps are small boxes that connect to your sink’s drain line. Inside, flow control devices help trap grease and food particles while water steadily flows out through the sewer lines.

Grease interceptors are much larger and are placed underground. These systems are better for commercial food preparation facilities that produce a large amount of FOG waste because they hold more waste. Inside, food particles drop to the bottom of the tank, while FOG floats to the top and solidifies. Water is then able to flow through the middle and into the sewer system.

Both grease traps and grease interceptors will need to be cleaned regularly to prevent blockages and remove foul odors. Call a local grease trap cleaning company in New Orleans, LA to learn about their services.

Additionally, avoid pouring oils and fats down the drain, no matter if you are a resident or an employee in a kitchen. While most restaurants have grease traps or interceptors installed, cooking oil can be more efficiently recycled if it’s collected properly, whereas grease trap waste largely goes to landfills.

If you have FOG materials in your residential kitchen, scrape them off into the garbage or put oils and grease into containers to cool, then have them recycled. This keeps FOG out of your sewer pipes and gives it the chance to be reused.

Safeway Used Oil and Grease has over 20 years of experience in oil collection and recycling and grease trap inspection and cleaning. Our services help maintain your grease trap, cut down on odors and reduce FOG pollution in New Orleans, LA. Call us today to learn how we can serve your commercial business.

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