Fats, Oils, and Grease (F.O.G.)
When fats, oils, and grease are dumped into drains, either in homes or businesses, it can cause costly sewer blockages and overflows. Learn more below about fats, oils, and grease control for businesses as well as what you can do as a homeowner to properly dispose of these substances.
You've just prepared a nice dinner after a long, hard day. Now, you're looking at that mess at the kitchen sink and dreading the cleanup. It might be tempting to just pour that hamburger grease and cooking oil down the kitchen sink … but, don't do it!
If you like to dump your leftover food scraps, oils, and grease down the drain, chances are you will pay for it sooner or later. Grease causes sewer blockages and overflows that damage homes, threaten the environment, and cause health hazards. Grease blockages can back up raw sewage into your home, your neighbor's home, a neighborhood park, a nearby yard, or the street.
Grease comes from food items such as:
- meat fats
- cooking oil
- butter and margarine
- food scraps
- dairy products
Grease sticks to the inside of sewer pipes, both on your property and in the streets. Through time, the grease can build up and block an entire pipe.
You might think it's okay to use your garbage disposal to shred leftover meat or cheese or other fatty foods, but shredding doesn't get rid of the fats that create grease. And, what about those detergents that claim to dissolve grease? They just pass the grease down the line to cause problems elsewhere.
The easiest way to solve the problem of grease blockages is to keep grease out of the drains in the first place. Here are some disposal tips:
- Put food scraps into a can or the trash for disposal. Put baskets or strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids. Empty the drain baskets or strainers into the trash for disposal.
- Do not put grease down garbage disposals.
- For small amounts of oil or grease, soak it up with paper towels and throw them in the trash. Remember that no liquid waste can be disposed of as solid waste (trash).
- For amounts ranging from a cup to a pint, you can pour the grease or oil into a container and freeze it. Put the frozen grease into the trash the day your trash is collected. Try to use a non-recyclable container if possible. If you have none available, a tin or steel can works well.
- For moderate amounts from a pint to a gallon, you can use cat litter to solidify the grease or oil. Put the cat litter in a double-lined plastic bag and pour the grease into the bag. Be sure there is no free liquid before tying the bag shut.
- For larger amounts of oil, such as from a turkey fryer or deep fat fryer of more than 1 gallon, empty the cooking oil into the designated receptacle, or leave the container with the cooking oil (the container will not be returned).
- Businesses that need to dispose of larger amounts of cooking oil should call the St. Peters Health Department at 636-970-1456.
If you have any more questions, please call the City of St. Peters Utilities Department, ext. 1278 at 636-477-6600.
In order to operate a restaurant or other food service establishment in St. Peters, you are required to install and maintain a grease interceptor to keep harmful fats, oils and grease out of the wastewater system. The Director of Utilities also may require grease interceptors for non-cooking or cold dairy and frozen foodstuffs establishments and other industrial or commercial establishments that generate wastewater containing fat or grease.
The Director of Utilities approves the type, design, and capacity of grease interceptors, which must be easily accessible for maintenance, repair, and City of St. Peters inspection. All grease interceptors must be serviced and emptied of waste as required by City ordinance. Biological or other additives and automatic grease removal systems are allowed only through special approval by the City of St. Peters. City ordinance also requires written records of grease interceptor maintenance and sets standards for manholes to access grease receptors. Modifications to grease interceptor maintenance and service procedures may be requested in writing to the Director of Utilities.
An annual fee applies for program administration, inspection, and record-keeping.
For more information, call 636-477-6600. ext. 1278.