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FOG and your Restaurant

What is FOG?

FOG refers to Fats, Oil, and Grease from food preparation, food services and kitchen clean up. It is generated in most types of restaurants and food service establishment kitchens.

Why is FOG a problem?

When poured down the drain, FOG can build up in pipes, pumps, and equipment, causing significant problems in the community’s sewer system and wastewater treatment plants. Typical problems include sewer line blockages that can lead to sewer overflows and spills that cause environmental and health hazards, odors, property damage, and loss of customers.

Why should I care about FOG?

Restaurants and food service establishments contribute greatly to the build-up of FOG in the sewer lines because of the amount of grease produced during cooking, food preparation, and kitchen clean up. If your establishment is found to cause a sanitary sewer overflow because you have not controlled grease discharge, you may be responsible for the clean up costs, any fines resulting from the discharge, as well as the costs associated with property damage resulting from the spill. Your facilities public image will also be impacted by sewer problems.

What is Required?

All restaurants and food service establishments in Lake County are required to install, utilize, and properly maintain gravity grease interceptors (Lake County Sewer Use Ordinance §605 and §606). Penalties for non compliance range from fines to disconnection of service.

What are some proper FOG handling and storage methods?
  • NEVER pour cooking oil or grease into sinks, floor drains, or into a parking lot or storm drains.
  • Dispose or recycle cooking oil & grease through a licensed waste hauler or grease recycler.
  • Inspect your grease interceptor frequently. To function properly, no more than 25% of the depth of the gravity grease interceptor should be floating oil, grease, and accumulated sediment on the bottom of the interceptor.
  • All interceptors should be inspected frequently, and serviced (cleaned) regularly.
  • Practice “dry clean up”. Use scrappers and paper towels to pre clean serving ware, pots, pans, and cooking surfaces prior to cleaning them with soap and water.
Watch out for scams

Be cautious of chemicals and additives (including soaps and detergents) that claim to dissolve grease. These additives simply pass the grease down the pipes where it will clog the lines in another area. They are a waste of money.

For additional information on gravity grease interceptors, licensed grease haulers, or additional “FOG” Best Management Practices, please contact the Lake County Special Districts Administration at 263-0119.

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Lake County Special Districts
230 N. Main Street
Lakeport, CA 95453
Telephone (707) 263-0119
Fax (707) 263-3836