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FOG Abatement Resources for Tribes

Would you like to effectively and efficiently identify and implement best practices in FOG management?  Would you like to reduce blockages that result in back-ups into kitchens, sanitary sewer overflows, and untreated sewage flowing into streets, storm drains, creeks and other surface waters? 

Learn how to save resources and protect the environment by developing an effective FOG Abatement Program or improving your existing one!


Scroll down for a list of helpful resources selected specifically for Tribal communities and operations.


For more information on our FOG resources for Tribes, contact Program Manager, Frances Gilliland (

Tribal Fog 

This section is intended to provide resources to help Tribal wastewater treatment professionals develop or enhance their FOG program.  This material is a collection of resources to help develop and enhance FOG abatement programs.


FOG for Municipalities

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are primarily generated by restaurants and other institutional food service establishments.  They are significant contributors to municipal wastewater (sewer) collection system blockages, estimated by USEPA to cause just over 50% of all sanitary sewer overflows (SSO). Municipalities that collect overflow data have reported FOG to be the cause of as much as 70% and in one case 90%, of the SSOs. As the environmental community moves to more stringently manage FOG, it is essential to work toward a comprehensive and robust FOG management program.


Please visit our webpage on FOG for Municipalities to learn more. 


The Problem with Fats, Oils, & Grease (FOG)

Sanitary sewer overflows caused by fats, oils, and grease (FOG) present significant issues for both infrastructure and the environment. When improperly disposed of down drains, FOG can accumulate and congeal in sewer pipes, leading to blockages and reduced flow capacity. 


Impact on Your Environment 

FOG has a dangerous impact on the environment. When FOG enters water bodies through sewer overflows, it poses a threat to aquatic life and ecosystems. The high concentration of fats and oils reduces oxygen levels in the water, leading to the suffocation of aquatic organisms. The release of FOG can create foul-smelling surface water pollution, adversely affecting the health of lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. 


Impact on Infrastructure  

Clogged and blocked pipes due to incorrectly disposed of FOG result in sewage backups and overflows, causing damage to sewage treatment facilities, pumping stations, and the overall sewer system infrastructure. Millions of dollars are spent each year on addressing blockages, repairing damaged infrastructure, and mitigating environmental contamination. (Miami-Dade County). These expenses ultimately burden taxpayers and divert funds that could be allocated to other essential public services. 

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

To prevent sanitary sewer overflows and minimize environmental impacts, it is crucial to implement the best management practices (BMPs) for Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) management.


Residential Best Practices


1. Encourage Proper FOG Disposal 


Encourage proper disposal of FOG by promoting the use of designated collection containers or recycling programs. Discourage pouring FOG down drains or toilets by providing clear instructions on alternative disposal methods, such as storing and disposing of cooled FOG in sealed containers or recycling it for biofuel production. 


Food Service (FSEs) Best Practices 


1. Install And Maintain Grease Traps And Interceptors


Install and maintain grease traps or grease interceptors in food service establishments and other facilities where FOG is generated. These devices capture FOG before it enters the sewer system, preventing blockages and overflows. Regular cleaning and maintenance of these traps are necessary to ensure their effectiveness. 


2. Regular Maintenance And Inspection 


Conduct routine inspections of grease traps, interceptors, and sewer lines to identify potential issues and ensure proper functioning. Regular cleaning and maintenance of these systems should be performed by trained professionals to prevent blockages and maximize their efficiency. 


3. Comply With State And Federal Regulations


Establish and enforce local regulations and codes related to FOG management. Implement inspection programs, permit requirements, and penalties for non-compliance to encourage businesses and individuals to adhere to proper FOG disposal practices. 


4. Create a Data-Driven Program

Develop monitoring programs to track FOG-related incidents, such as sewer overflows or blockages. Analyze data to identify trends, assess the effectiveness of BMPs, and make necessary adjustments to FOG management strategies. 


By implementing these best management practices, communities can effectively manage FOG, reduce the risk of sanitary sewer overflows, protect infrastructure, and minimize the environmental impact of FOG discharge.

Resources for Implementing A Formal Program

  1. Steps to Implementing a FOG Abatement Program

  2. Technical Resources

  3. Preferred Pumper Program

  4. Interceptor Sizing

  5. Upcoming Opportunities

Printable Educational Tools

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