Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG)

About the Program
The JCSA has created a public education campaign to eliminate improper disposal of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG). We have established the program to promote a clean environment by reducing the number of sanitary sewer overflows caused by FOG.

Negative Impact of FOG

Sewer overflows and backups can cause health hazards, damage homes and the environment. The campaign's slogan, "Don’t Strain the Drain!" is meant as a friendly reminder to our customers that putting fats, oils or grease down a sink can create a situation that is both unhealthy and expensive not only to the JCSA, but to you personally.

Putting these greasy materials down a sink can lead to a clogged sanitary sewer line. Clogs can then lead to wastewater backing up into your home or business, spilling out onto the streets, and even finding its way into storm drains and to the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay. Cleanup can be expensive for residential homeowners and especially expensive for commercial businesses like restaurants. They can also be subject to fines and closures if the situation is serious enough. While the JCSA maintains the community-wide sewer system, the sewer line within your own home and on your property out to the sewer main is the responsibility of the property owner. If you find that your home's sewer lines have become clogged with FOG, it may require either do-it-yourself maintenance or assistance from a plumber to clear the blockage.

Current Practices
Best management practices are a series of activities that effectively reduce the amount of waste generated in a business. In the case of Food Service Establishments and FOG control, practices include:
  • Using less oil and liquid oil instead of solid grease or lard
  • Dry wiping all dishes, pots, and pans before putting them in the dishwasher
  • Collecting and disposing used oil through a licensed grease hauler instead of pouring it down the drain
  • Use of disposable paper products instead of dishware when possible
  • Capturing the oil accumulated in ventilation and exhaust hoods
  • Cleaning grease traps regularly
  • Keeping grease traps and interceptors well maintained and properly operating