Yellow oil splash Fats, oils, and grease of animal or vegetable origin are collectively known as FOG. Commercial establishments that use fats, oils, and grease have a responsibility to dispose of used FOG, or they face serious health code violations and other consequences outlined by city and state regulations. Oregon Oils, Inc., of Portland, Oregon, serves all businesses that use fats, oils, and grease and ensures your FOG levels are within current regulations.

What Is FOG?

Residual fats, oils, and grease are by-products of food service and other similar industries. Common sources of FOG include:

  • All types of cooking oil, shortening, lard, butter, and margarine
  • Residual oil and grease from cooking meat
  • Leftover oil from frying foods
  • Residual juices in roasting pans
  • Fatty food scraps
  • Oils that solidify when cooled, such as coconut or olive oil
  • Greasy sauces, gravies, salad dressings, and condiments
  • Dairy products, such as sour cream, milk and ice cream

FOG enters your facility’s plumbing system from sink drains, dishwashers, floor drains, and sanitation efforts. Sewer systems aren’t designed or equipped to handle FOG accumulation on the interior of sewer pipes, so the best way to manage FOG is by keeping it out of the plumbing system.

FOG Facts

If your food and/or drink establishment handles anything that contains fats, oil, and grease, you may eventually encounter maintenance problems. Most common problems stem from blockage in your facility’s sewer line. Blockage causes your sewer to back up and creates a potential health and safety problem. You’re responsible for paying cleanup costs and any property damage that occurs. Your county public health department may also require you to close your business until an inspector certifies that you’ve resolved all health issues. Other important FOG facts include:

  • Commercial establishments improperly disposing of used FOG threaten the environment.
  • Hot water and detergents DON’T dissolve grease, they simply push FOG further down your pipes.
  • FOG sticks to your plumbing’s pipes hardens and slowly builds up until it constricts wastewater flow.
  • Accumulation of FOG in sewer lines is one of the biggest causes of backups and odor problems inside your establishment.
  • Business owners are charged cleanup costs for public sewer clogs and overflows onto public streets caused by dumping FOG down their establishment’s drains.

Partnering with Oregon Oils, Inc., for responsible oil recycling prevents clogged drains, benefits your business financially, and is environmentally friendly.

FOG Regulations

FOG is subject to city and state regulations in our service areas. Portland, Oregon, spends millions every year cleaning and repairing sewer lines clogged by grease and treating wastewater containing high concentrations of FOG and food waste. Because restaurants and other food service establishments are the primary source, any facility with a permanently plumbed connection to the City sewer system that discharges polar FOG must comply with set rules to help protect public health and safety.

Portland’s Cut Through the FOG program requires all lines that convey FOG to be connected to grease interceptors in all food service establishments undergoing new construction, redevelopment, tenant improvements or any changes in ownership or occupancy. This program also phased in new sewer rates for these establishments and increased the number of businesses that pay fees for additional sewer cleaning and treatment.

Seattle, Washington, also prohibits FOG discharges and has regulations requiring all food service providers to install a device to keep FOG from entering sewer systems and public sewer lines. Seattle Municipal Code requires food service establishments to maintain grease traps or interceptors to a volume of no more than 25 percent. Additives in pretreatment devices aren’t allowed, which includes emulsifying agents, bio-additives, enzymes, or similar chemicals. Penalties for discharging FOG into the sewer system vary based on the size of the violation, but fees range between $250 and $5,000.

Grease Traps And Interceptors

Any establishment that handles food or drinks that produce FOG should install a grease trap or interceptor to keep it from going down the drain. Passive, above-ground grease traps are metal or plastic tanks you pour your FOG into. Our routine grease trap cleaning services include pumping out your trap, giving it a thorough cleaning, inspecting its overall condition, identifying any potential problems, and suggesting possible solutions.

Grease interceptors are large, in-ground tanks that capture and contain FOG until we arrive with our pumper and waste hauler services to remove them. No matter what type of equipment you use on-site, we help you establish and manage an effective FOG maintenance schedule. We also assume responsibility for mandated FOG pump-out and maintenance reports required by your municipality.

Responsible FOG Waste Management

Oregon Oils, Inc., has been the proud provider of choice for Oregon and western Washington businesses since 1992. Our used cooking oil collection is a free service, with collected oil recycled into biodiesel fuel, and your business reaps the benefits. Our goal is to provide our customers with the most reliable waste oil management program available. Contact us at 503-233-0818 to discuss the appropriate disposal methods of your establishment’s fats, oils, and grease today.

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