Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Program

Fats, oil, and grease, collectively known as FOG, are found in most residential and commercial kitchens. The discharge of FOG to sanitary sewer systems is a problem because the FOG can accumulate in the sewer and cause a backup or overflow. 

If this happens, there could be severe consequences that include:

  • Public health endangerment
  • Damage to your home or business
  • Damage to our creeks, streams, and ponds
  • Aquatic life endangerment
  • Damage to the sanitary sewer system
  • Fines or citations

The City of Southlake's FOG program was established by Ordinance 914, to ensure protection of the public health, the environment and to prevent damage to the City's public sewer system. The FOG Policy Manual was established to control all commercial food service establishment aspects of the program. 

What can you do to help reduce FOG waste?

Residents

  • Throw grease away. Tossing solid waste in the trash eliminates the potential for sewer overflow. Allow fats, oils, and grease (FOG) to cool to room temperature, then pour it into a disposable container and throw it away into the trash. It's important to keep in mind that home garbage disposals do not withhold grease from the plumbing systems. Never pour the following cooking substances down the drain: cooking oil, pan drippings, gravy, grease, lard, shortening, butter, margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise, cream or other sauces.

Stop by the Public Works Operations Center at 1950 E. Continental to pick up a free grease collection container.

  • Wipe before washing. Wiping fats, oils, and grease off dishes before washing them manages the amount of grease sticking to the kitchen pipes. Before washing pots or dishes, wipe off cooking oil, salad dressing, and sauces using paper towels. Discard paper towels in the trash afterwards.
  • Strain the drain. Defending your drain against food and waste prevents buildup. Place a strainer over the sink drain to prevent substances from falling into the system. If you notice the strainer filling up, dispose of the waste in the trash.

Business Operators

  • Train your staff. Trapping oils and grease with paper towels and disposing of them properly can go a long way. Before washing or rinsing pots or dishes, wipe off cooking oil, salad dressing, and sauces using paper towels and discard in designated waste containers. Throw away solid foods before placing dishes in a sink or dishwasher. Other solids, like coffee grounds and tea leaves, should also go in the trash rather than down the drain.
  • Keep a clean, FOG-free kitchen. Regularly maintained kitchen equipment prevents build up FOG. Remove all solid grease build-ups from processing equipment, like exhaust systems, by scraping waste into a container for disposal. Pour oily and greasy water used to clean fixtures down a drain equipped with a grease trap and not into an outdoor drain. Outdoor drains flow directly to the river without treatment.
  • Clean grease traps regularly. The City of Southlake requires for grease traps to be cleaned at least every 90 days. Based on the amount of grease, many food establishments require a more frequent cleaning. An easy way of knowing when to clean out the grease trap is when the percentage of total accumulation is 25% of the trap.

Check out the links in Helpful Information for some additional FOG Best Practices to help reduce the waste. 

Permitted Liquid Waste Haulers

To ensure proper cleaning and disposal of fats, oils, and grease wastes generated throughout the City, liquid waste haulers are required to have a permit. The permit program requires registration of all liquid waste hauling vehicles. For liquid waste transporters, such as grease and grit waste, specific reporting requirements are in place to provide tracking of proper disposal. If you would like to apply for a permit or need your grease or grit interceptor pumped, please refer to the Quick Links section for more information.