Grease... it's not a pretty picture.
There's something in the
sewers... silently growing, building up, choking the pipes,
waiting to cause an overflow of sewage into a street or a yard
or even a home.
It is grease. Common cooking grease,
washed into the sewer system by the restaurants, cafeterias, and
even the homes of Huntsville.
Left unchecked, it will build up in sewer
pipes, causing problems for WPC and our customers.
WPC does not wait for the grease to build
up, though. Our FOG Program (Fats-Oil-Grease) helps
WPC prevent grease blockages and the resulting sewer overflows.
Grease in sewers is not just a Huntsville
problem. Across the country, many sewer utilities have
found that 50% to 75% of their sewer overflows are caused by
grease blockages. The US EPA takes overflows seriously -
and especially so for those caused by grease. Likewise,
most significantly-sized sewer utilities have implemented grease
WPC's FOG Program is two-pronged.
First, the FOG Program aims to keep grease out of the sewers as
much as possible. Second, routine inspection and cleaning
of the sewer pipes removes grease accumulation before it can
cause an overflow.
The FOG Program, authorized by
City Ordinance, is administered by WPC's
Industrial Pretreatment Division.
No specific grease discharge permit is required from food
service facilities. However, building permits issued by
Inspections Department may require installation of a grease
control device from plans designed and stamped by a Professional
The FOG Program does require that food
service facilities - restaurants, cafeterias, etc. - have in
place a Grease Control Plan. Compliance with the plan is
monitored through regular
FOG User Compliance Reports.
Homeowners should be aware
that they too can be a source of grease in sewers, and should
take steps to eliminate grease from their wastewater:
pour grease, oil, or fat down the drain.
pour liquid waste oil and grease into a metal can (soup,
vegetable, etc.). Let the grease cool and solidify, then
place it in the garbage can for disposal.
use a sink disposal unit to handle fatty waste like meat
treat fatty waste as solid waste - use the garbage can.
use the sink to wash heavy oil or grease out of dishes, pots
wipe heavy oil or grease out of dishes with paper towels.
Throw the used paper towels in the garbage.
See the Hauled