Fats Oils and Grease

Fats Oils and Grease Disposal

Prevention of FOG’s within Drainage Systems and Sewers

Blocked drains in domestic, industrial, and commercial premises are often caused by fats, oils, and greases (FOGs). The question is, what are they, what do they do and how can we avoid them?

What are FOGs?

FOGs stand for fats, oils and greases.  The majority of households and businesses use them extensively, as you can imagine.  Commercial kitchens and canteens are particularly susceptible to them, but they can also occur in other businesses. Food scraps and meat fats may contain FOGs. Grease, cooking oil, butter, and cooking oil may contain FOGs.

What problems can they cause?

Pouring FOGs down drains and sinks is sometimes done to dispose of them. When poured away, they are in liquid form but solidify as they cool down.  FOGs congeal and harden along drainage pipes, creating blockages that can cause serious problems to the drainage system.  Blockages can occur within your site drains or can leave site and cause serious issues down the line.  In addition, FOGs can also catch other waste that is disposed of into the sewer system, such as wet wipes.  These can aggravate the problem and result in fatbergs.  The debris can completely block pipes and drains, cause flooding, and can be very expensive to remove.

Why do I need to avoid FOGs?

Discharging FOGs into sewer systems is prohibited under a number of regulations. Any matter that interferes with the free flow of wastewater, which includes FOGs, can be discharged into a public sewer in violation of the Water Industry Act 1991. The potential penalties for discharge of FOG into sewers, particularly if the FOG has caused a blockage, could range from substantial fines to imprisonment. Also, you may be liable to recover costs associated with the removal of blockages, the cleaning of sewers, and the investigation and remedying of flooding and pollution events. It is not just the legal implications that can be associated with incorrect disposal of FOGs; a blockage as a result of this could cause severe operational disruptions, including blocked drains, foul odours and flooding.  This can be costly and disruptive.

How can I prevent FOGs from happening?

For any company that generates FOGs in any way, grease management should be a priority. Your budget and activities will determine which options are best for you.  By injecting enzymes and bacteria that digest grease into your waste stream, you can reduce the likelihood of a blockage occurring.  You can also install grease traps that hold wastewater, allowing FOGs to harden and float to the top of the traps, keeping them out of the drainage system.

To avoid drain blockages, you must manage all of your waste streams correctly, such as preventing fats, oils, and grease from entering drains. If you want to ensure that your system remains effective, you will have to manage an appropriate solution and ensure you keep it maintained.