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TO HOOK UP YOUR UTILITIES:  (540) 375-3021|HOURS:  M-F 8am-5pm
E-MAIL:  utilitycollections@salemva.gov|LOCATION:  City Hall, 114 North Broad Street, Salem, VA 24153

Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG)

TO HOOK UP YOUR UTILITIES:  (540) 375-3021|HOURS:  M-F 8am-5pm
E-MAIL:  utilitycollections@salemva.gov|LOCATION:  City Hall, 114 North Broad Street, Salem, VA 24153

What is FOG?

Fats, Oils and Grease, known collectively as FOG, can clog pipes and can cause sewer back-ups. FOG can cool and solidify in your pipes, causing blockages and back-ups in your home and in the public sewer system. Tips for a Fat Free Sewer

Fats, Oils, and Grease

Common Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)

  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Cooking Oil
  • Fatty Food Scraps
  • Lard
  • Meat fats, grease and juices, gravy
  • Creamy or oily sauces
  • Dressings
  • Shortening
  • Dairy Products

 

Why does FOG cause problems?

When Fats, Oils and Grease are poured down the drain, they accumulate onto pipe walls. As they cool, they solidify, causing:

  • Clogged drains and/or toilets
  • Sewage back-ups into your home or your neighbor’s home resulting in costly repairs
  • Discharge of raw sewage to the environment
  • Expensive cleanup and replacement of damaged property
  • Higher sewer charges
  • Odors
  • Potential public health risks

 

Disposal Methods

When Fats, Oils and Grease are poured down the drain, they accumulate to pipe walls.  As they cool, they solidify, causing sewer blockages, backups and costly repairs.

Keep Fats, Oils and Grease out of your drains by using the proper disposal methods:

Scrape the Plate

Scrape food scraps into your garbage can or compost.  Wipe all cooking and eating utensils with a paper towel to absorb the grease.

Can the Grease

Put your Fats, Oils and grease in a disposable container (i.e. an empty soup can will work well) and store it in the freezer.  Once solidified, toss the container into the garbage.

Catch the Scraps

Use a strainer in your sink to catch food scraps and then toss them into the trash.  Try to eliminate using the garbage disposal.

Important! When sewer pipes back up on private property, the homeowner or business owner is responsible for the cleanup.

 

Common Myths about FOG:

Myth: It is ok to pour grease down the drain as long as I run hot water.

Fact: Eventually, the hot water will cool and solidify in your pipes.

Myth: It is ok to pour grease down the drain as long as I chase it down with dish soap.

Fact: Soap does break up grease, but soap eventually, loses its effectiveness, and grease solidifies and congeals on pipe walls.

Myth: It is ok to pour grease down the drain as long as I use the garbage disposal.

Fact: The garbage disposal only grinds up items before passing them into the sewer pipes.

Myth: It is ok to pour grease down the drain as long as I flush it down the toilet.

Fact: Flushing grease down the toilet just creates build-up in the toilet pipes and drains.

Myth: If the sewer backs up, the City will fix it.

Fact: Owners are responsible for the sewers on their property. If they damage or back up the public sanitary sewer or drainage systems, they must pay for cleanup and repair and may be subject to fines and penalties.

Dumping FOG could cost you

Important! When sewer pipes back up on private property, the homeowner or business owner is responsible for the cleanup.

City Ordinance Section 90-212 “Payment of costs for work required by prohibited deposits” states the following: In any case where a sewer main or pipe connection is stopped or choked by any materials or rubbish deposited therein contrary to the provisions of this Article, by any tenant or property owner, upon due ascertainment by the city manager, such city manager shall cause the main or pipe connection to be opened, cleared or repaired, and shall cause the cost for doing such work to be collected from the property owner. The payment of such cost shall not relieve any person from the provisions of the judicial enforcement remedies as provided in Section 90-208 herein.