City of San Carlos - Fats, Oils, Grease - FOG
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Fats, Oils, Grease - FOG

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Don't Pour Grease Down the Drain

Avoid Pain in the Drain

Grease gets into the sewer from household drains as well as from poorly maintained grease traps in restaurants and other businesses. Too often, grease is washed into the plumbing system, usually through the kitchen sink.  Grease sticks to the insides of sewer pipe (both on your property and in the streets).  Over time, the grease can build up and block the entire pipe.

Home garbage disposals do not keep the grease out of the plumbing systems.  These units only shred solid material into smaller pieces and do not prevent grease from going down the drain.  Commercial additives, including detergents, that claim to dissolve grease may pass grease down the line and cause problems in other areas.

When grease is poured down sinks it can solidify and cause sewer backups into houses or onto streets. The result is a greasy, smelly mess of pollutants entering storm drains, creeks, and the Bay. It harms wildlife both on land and in water and is expensive to clean up!

City FOG Control Program

The City has determined that a FOG control program is necessary in San Carlos per our Sanitary Sewer Maintenance Program requirements.  The City's FOG control program consists of focused cleaning and maintenance of the sanitary sewer system as well as source control.

Sewer System Design
Sanitary Sewer systems are designed to handle three types of waste products used water, human body waste and toilet paper.  They are not designed to handle other waste products that are sometimes disposed of in this way.

Some Tips to Follow
To ensure for this system to work properly, here are some best practices to follow:

 Do Not



Do not pour fats, oils and grease from
cooking down the kitchen sink drain
or garbage disposal
Collect grease in a container and dispose
of it in the garbage
Do not use the sewer to dispose of
food scraps
Place food scraps in the garbage for disposal
with solid waste, or start a compost pile
Do not use the toilet as a wastebasket for
garbage or chemicals. (These items can kill
"good" bacteria used for sewage treatment,
cost much more to treat, and can enter
the Bay)
Place a wastebasket in the bathroom to dispose
of solid waste. (Disposal diapers and personal
hygiene products do not belong in the sewer
Do not put produce stickers down the
Avoid planting trees with shallow, spreading root
systems near your sewer lateral. Tree roots seek
water sources, such as cracked sewer lines.
Once the roots have penetrated the line through
cracks, the roots can create a dense mat and
trap materials

More Information
Here are two more flyers that have additional information on keeping your drains clear - and avoiding "pain in the drain":