What is FOG?
FOG is Fats, Oil, and Grease. Certain businesses, such as restaurants and institutional food service facilities - for example, in schools or nursing homes - may discharge large amounts of fats, oil and grease into the District’s sewer system as a byproduct of their operations. Large quantities of FOG have the potential to clog up the sewer system, creating backflows or other problems that can negatively impact public health.
Most restaurants and food service facilities have a grease trap. A grease trap is a device that captures the fats, oil, and grease, preventing their discharge into the sewer system. Grease traps must be properly maintained, and the captured FOG properly disposed of on a regular basis. Some companies will even take the captured FOG and, in turn, process it into biofuels.
What is the FOG Program?
The District, guided by State requirements, launched its FOG Program in 2010. The Program consists of a grease trap inspection and permitting process that all businesses that discharge fats, oil, and grease in sufficient quantities (a Qualifying Facility) must adhere to. This will help to protect the integrity of the sanitary sewer system by preventing backflows due to pipes getting clogged with FOG.
Do I have to participate in the FOG Program?
MSWD has identified the businesses within its service area that may be Qualifying Facilities. If your business has been identified as such, you will receive a letter from MSWD instructing you to call the District to schedule a free inspection of your facility to determine whether it is a Qualifying Facility.
How much will it cost to participate in the FOG Program?
Qualifying Facilities will pay $125 in application and permitting fees for the first year. After that, only the annual permit fee of $75 per year is necessary.
Below are links to documents associated with the FOG Program, including forms and applications, rules and regulations, and MSWD’s Sewer Ordinance. If your facility is a Qualifying Facility, MSWD will contact you and guide you through the permitting process. If you have any questions, please contact us via the contact us at engineering [at] mswd.org.