Fats, Oils, and Grease
A leading cause of sewer blockages is the accumulation of Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) in the sanitary sewers. The greasy waste enters the sewers through connections from residential properties, restaurants, and industrial wastewater dischargers.
FOG blockages may cause sanitary sewer overflows into local waterways and backups into basements of nearby properties. When homeowners have to hire a plumber to remove grease from their sewer service line, rates are usually several hundred dollars for the first hour, with additional charges for extra time and after-hours service calls.
Reduction Program for Food Establishments
The Bexley Service Department, in conjunction with the City of Columbus, developed a Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG) Reduction Program consisting of four main elements:
- Bexley City Code 1044.24 requires outside interceptors for all new or remodeled food service establishments.
- All food service establishments in the City's service area must develop and implement a FOG Best Management Plan (BMP) to handle grease waste. A key element of the FOG BMP requires the food service establishment to maintain a Grease Interceptor Cleaning Log.
- Director's Rule establishes grease interceptor cleaning practices for trucked waste haulers licensed with the City of Bexley. The rule requires licensed trucked waste haulers to completely fill out the food service establishment’s Grease Interceptor Cleaning Log(s) or to communicate to personnel of the food service establishment. This Director's Rule regulates only those trucked waste haulers that are licensed with the City of Columbus.
- Program rules and regulations establishes a minimum cost recovery charge of $2000 per typical blockage incident attributed to the improper disposal of grease. Cost recovery assessments for sewer blockages requiring more than four hours of effort to correct could be higher.
Reminders for Homeowners
Homeowners should follow the same best practices as food service establishments:
- Never pour grease into drains, even homes equipped with a garbage disposal. Instead, pour contents into a sealed container and dispose of container in the trash.
- Scrape food waste into your compost receptacle or the trash.
- Use paper towels to wipe grease from pots, pans, plates, and utensils prior to washing.