F.O.G. - Fats, Oils, and Grease

What is FOG?

FOG is an acronym for Fats, Oils and Grease that are deposited into the sanitary sewer system. FOG comes from meat fats in cooking and food scraps, cooking oil, shortening, lard, butter and margarine, gravy, and food products such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, sour cream and other foods high in fat. 

The Impact of FOG

FOG poured down kitchen drains accumulates inside sewer pipes. When FOG enters the sanitary sewer system, it can harden in the pipe and cause blockages resulting in Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO’s). FOG also reduces the capacity of the system and is detrimental to the wastewater treatment process. The result is that a considerable amount of money is spent every year removing the build-up of fats, oils, and grease.

Manholes can overflow into parks, yards, streets, and storm drains, allowing FOG to contaminate local waters, including drinking water. Exposure to untreated wastewater is a public-health hazard.

Last year alone, the City of West St Paul spent nearly $140,000 in equipment maintenance costs, specialty vehicle rental, contractor fees and worker wages to remove FOG from the sanitary sewers.

It's the Law

City Ordinance 19-02 amended section 50.06 of the West St. Paul City Code to prohibit fats, oils and grease of animal or vegetable origin from being discharged into any sanitary sewer either directly or indirectly.

No refuse or solids of any sort obstructive to the flow of wastewater may be placed, thrown or allowed to enter any public sewer, or allowed to remain on or in any trap or catch basin so as to obstruct the sewer.

How to Correctly Dispose of FOG

  • Pour and wipe grease from cooking into a can, let it cool, and throw it in the trash.
  • Recycle all used fryer oils.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your grease trap or interceptor.

FOG Pipe

Additional Resources

What is F.O.G.?
Grease Traps and Separators
Cleaning Contractors
Cleaning Log
Grease Trap Cleaning Procedures


Eldon Rameaux
I&I Inspector / FOG Coordinator