Fats, Oils and Grease Program

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Fat-free sewers

Hardened grease collects on the walls of the sewer pipe

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) is a major concern for Vallecitos’ wastewater collection system. When FOG is not disposed of properly, it will harden as it cools and accumulate along the interior walls of the sewer pipes, trapping food particles and other debris. Over time, this solid mass continues to grow until it obstructs the flow and causes sewage to back up, eventually resulting in a sewer spill or sanitary sewer overflow (SSO). SSO’s create an environmental issue and public health concern, as untreated sewage can contaminate our local creeks, lakes and beaches. Property damage can also result from a sewer backup or overflow leading to costly clean up and repairs.

Vallecitos Water District is required by state regulations to develop and implement a Fats, Oils and Grease Control Program for food service establishments to reduce the discharge of FOG to the sanitary sewer. 

Where does FOG come from?

  • Meat fats
  • Food Scraps
  • Cooking Oil
  • Shortening
  • Butter and margarine
  • Lard
  • Baked goods
  • Sauces
  • Dairy Products

Tips to prevent FOG from entering the sewer

Here are some easy ways to make sure that FOG does not make it into the sewer system:

  • Never pour FOG down sinks, drains or into toilets.
  • Before washing, scrape and wipe trays, plates, pots, pans, cooking utensils and grills with paper towels and dispose of materials in the trash.
  • Pour used cooking oil after it has cooled into a container with a lid and dispose in the trash.
  • Speak with your friends and neighbors about the problem of FOG in the sewer system and how to keep it out.

For more information about the proper disposal of Fats, Oils and Grease, please contact Corey Harrell, Source Control Technician at charrell@vwd.org or (760) 752-7161. Thank you for helping protect the environment.