Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are exceptionally viscous pollutants composed mainly of animal fats and vegetable oil, as well as petroleum-based materials (such as motor oil, lotions, etc.). This FOG waste must be disposed of somewhere. Unfortunately, in many cases, it ends up in sewer pipes via drains and sinks. The problem is that, due to the tendency of these pollutants to solidify and accumulate within sewer piping (as well as private laterals), they often result in the narrowing and/or complete blockage of piping. For this reason, inadequate control of FOG discharges is a leading cause of sanitary sewer system issues. In fact, FOG blockages are the primary source of SSOs, as well as building backups, within most communities.
As a component of the City’s comprehensive Capacity, Management, Operations, and Maintenance (CMOM) Program, the Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Control Program’s overall objective is to reduce the occurrence of blockages and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) resulting from the discharge of fats, oils, and grease wastes.
Food service establishments (FSEs), such as restaurants and cafeterias, tend to be the most frequent source of improper FOG waste discharges since FOG is a byproduct of food preparation. FSEs, however, are not the only offenders; residential homes, apartments, and industrial facilities also contribute to a system’s FOG-related issues due to incorrect disposal practices. To minimize FOG’s negative impact on the City’s sewer systems, this FOG Control Program will provide Meridian with a framework for controlling the discharge of FOG-related waste via guidance, policies, and regulations to promote best management practices by commercial FOG generators. Another key component of the program is community outreach/education, which will be aimed at encouraging proper FOG disposal practices by residential customers. Effective implementation of this program is expected to control fats, oils, and grease waste from entering the City’s sewer system, thereby preserving sewer capacity, prolonging the infrastructure life, reducing SSO events, and lowering sewer-related operation and maintenance costs.