Several years ago, the City of Santa Barbara enacted a Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) program aimed at reducing the number of sewer spills related to grease blockages. In 2014, the City revised its inspection and education program to better inform our restaurants and residents of the impacts of pouring FOG material down the drain. On average, the City’s FOG Wastewater Compliance Specialist makes 560 site visits each year to Food Service Establishments (FSE) to ensure compliance with the City's Title 16 requirements and to educate FSE employees on ways to reduce FOG from entering the sewer system. These improvements to the program have dramatically reduced the number of FOG related spills in the recent years.
You may not be aware but many food items can result in FOG production and cause problems for your sewer lateral if not properly disposed of. Some common FOG sources at FSEs and residential properties are:
Improperly disposing of these FOG materials by pouring them down the drain or garbage disposal can create obstructions in underground pipes and result in blockages or sewer overflows.
Minimize the use of your garbage disposal – Foods with FOG can pass the garbage disposal but still get caught in the plumbing and cause a sewer backup.