FOG: Fats, Oils & Greases

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pipesFats, Oils and Greases ---  It's bad for your arteries and waistline, and it's bad for the Town of Arlington's sewers. We need you to help us keep our sewers fat free!

The Town of Arlington ‘s Wastewater Department is responsible for the FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease ) Program.  The purpose of this program is to prevent sanitary sewer system blockages, obstructions and overflows due to contribution and accumulation of fats, oils, and grease from food service establishments, commercial facilities and industrial facilities. As a result, many facilities are required to install grease traps or interceptors, or obtain industrial permits

However, our residents can also do their part to keep the sewers healthy. See below for information and tips on how to help.

Where Does the Grease Come From? 
It is common knowledge that grease is a byproduct of cooking. Too often, grease is washed into the plumbing system, usually through the kitchen sink. Grease sticks to the insides of sewer pipes (both on your property and in the streets). Over time, the grease can build up and block the entire pipe.  You can find grease in such things as:
  • Meat fats
  • Baking goods
  • Butter or margarine
  • Shortening
  • Lard
  • Cooking oil
  • Food scraps
  • Sauces
  • Dairy Products
Home Garbage Disposals - do they help?
Home garbage disposals do not keep grease out of the plumbing system. Garbage disposals can only shred solid materials into smaller pieces and do not prevent grease from going down the drain. Commercial additives, including detergents, which claim to dissolve grease, may pass grease down the line and cause problems in other areas. 

Some of the Problems Grease Can Cause
  • Raw sewage overflowing into your home
  • An expensive and unpleasant cleanup that often must be paid for by you, the homeowner
  • Raw sewage overflowing into parks, yards, and streets
  • An increase in operation and maintenance costs for the sewer department, which causes higher fees

What You Can Do to Help
The easiest way to solve the grease problem (and help prevent the overflow of raw sewage) is to keep this material out of the sewer in the first place.  Here are several ways you can do this:
  • Never pour grease down sinks, drains or into toilets.
  • Scrape grease and food scraps from trays, plates, pots, pans, utensils, grills, and cooking surfaces into a can or the trash for disposal.
  • Do not put grease down garbage disposals. Put baskets / strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids, and empty the drain baskets/strainers in the trash for disposal.
  • Talk to your friends and neighbors about the potential problems of grease in the sewer system and how to keep it out. You may also call the Public Works Department at (901) 867-4980 if you have any additional questions.

Wastewater Treatment

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