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Fats, Oils and Grease

FOG Staff
Taylor Troutman
Wastewater Operations Specialist
Phone: 717-732-3621 x 1245

What is FOG?
FOG stands for Fats, Oils and Grease. FOG includes animal and vegetable fats as well as oils used to cook and prepare foods, and oils in car wash facilities and vehicle repair shops.

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)
Control Program 

The purpose of East Pennsboro Townships fats, oils and grease control program is to reduce the amount of FOG being introduced into the public wastewater collection system. Whether it be a commercial food establishment, car wash facility, vehicle maintenance facility or another source, fats, oils and grease that enter the sanitary sewer system  can lead to major issues.
Fats, Oils and Grease - Water & Utilities

FOG is the main leading cause of sewer line blockages because it congeals on the inner walls of the collection system which leads to reduced capacity and flow. Also the bacteria that feed on fats, oil and grease produce corrosive acids and gas that will damage pipes and manholes within the collection system.  FOG combines with other solids to form backups and blockages within the collection system. Also, as the wastewater makes its way to the East Pennsboro Township Wastewater Treatment Plant, it will require a high amount of energy to be treated and processed if there is a presence of FOG. 

Please be aware that keeping FOG out of the public wastewater collection system benefits you, as well as the Township. 
If FOG makes its way into your collection system, it may end up costing you the time and money to open up your line and repair your line. Taking the following steps below will ensure that the sewer collection pipes from your home to the wastewater collection system will not be prone to clogs and grease buildup:

  • Do not dump grease down the drain
  • Scrape off your plates
  • Dispose of the food waste in your trash can before washing dishes
Commercial Establishments
All commercial FOG users in the Township are required to employ grease management devices to aid in FOG removal from the collection system. Some of these devices include, grease traps, grease interceptors or oil/water separators. Each FOG user that uses one of the grease management devices must apply for a FOG discharge permit annually.  FOG dishcarge permit applications can be found here. Along with the permit application, each facility must pay a fee established in the Township fee schedule as amended from time to time.  An authorized agent will inspect each facilities grease management device at least once annually. The authorized agent will provide each facility a copy of the inspection form and discuss any findings and recommendations with the facility owner.

Maintenance and Record Keeping
All facilities with active grease management devices are required to comply with the minimum cleaning frequency of every 90 days as mandated by Township Ordinance Chapter 18, Part 5, Section 510 . At the time a facility renews their annual FOG discharge permit, they are to submit all copies of the hauled waste manifests/pumping reports of cleanings that occured that year to the Township. Facilities are to keep a grease management device maintenance log on site for internal tracking and recordkeeping . The maintenance log must be available for review by the Township authorized agent at any reasonable time. 

Each commercial establishment  that produces FOG is required to recieve an inspection performed by a Township authorized agent at least once annually to ensure compliance. During an inspection, the authorized agent will fully observe the grease management device, create an inspection report, review the cleaning frequency to determine if it is adequate, review facilities maintenance log and update general information. Please read the Facilities Guide to FOG Inspections for more information.

The 25% Rule - Fats, Oil, and Grease Best Management Practices ManualThis method is used to determine when a grease interceptor is in need of a pumping and cleaning. The rule states that the total depth of the floating grease (top layer) and the settleable solids (bottom layer) cannot exceed 25% of the total liquid depth of the interceptor.

For Example (reference the picture) :
                                Total Liquid Depth = 4.0 feet
                                Total FOG Depth + Total Solids Depth = 0.5 feet + 1.0 feet = 1.5 feet
                                Total FOG + Solids Depth / Total Liquid Depth = 1.5 feet / 4.0 feet
                                Percent = 37.5% Solids

This grease management device has failed its inspection and is in need of a pump out and cleaning since the content within it is greater than 25% solids. 

Why is East Pennsboro Township concerned about Fats, Oils and Grease?

Do other municipalities have FOG Ordinances?