Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Program

FOG News & Notes

“Don’t be chuckin’ your turducken’s fats and oils down the sink!”  Visit the “AskHGreen” Blog for tips on frying a turkey.

About the FOG Program

Grease-Clogged Pipe

Grease-Clogged Pipe

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) are a by-product of food preparation, cooking, and cleanup of dishes, pots and pans, utensils, etc.  FOG comes from many food sources: Meats, Nuts, Vegetable Oils, Dairy Products, Soups, Gravies, Condiments, Sauces, Icing, Pasta, Poultry, etc.  Once it enters the sewer system, FOG cools and quickly sticks to and solidifies on the sides of sanitary sewer pipes. Since FOG doesn’t dissolve in water, it builds up and eventually creates a blockage.  Even using hot water and detergents doesn’t stop FOG — it still solidifies on sewer pipes and cause blockages. Blockages result in Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs).  The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) may fine localities $32,500 per occurrence, paid by your tax dollars.  SSOs are also bad for the environment, waterways and the public health.

The County of Isle of Wight has passed an ordinance to help prevent FOG in the sanitary sewer pipes. This ordinance applies to any Food Service Establishment (FSE). An FSE is any commercial, institutional, or food processing facility that discharges kitchen or food preparation wastewater and that is required to have a grease control device under the Virginia Uniform Building Code or applicable regulations of the Hampton Roads Sanitation District. Restaurants, churches, commercial kitchens, caterers, hotels, cafeterias, delicatessens, meat-cutting preparations, bakeries, ice cream parlors, cafes, hospitals, schools, bars, correctional facilities, care institutions, etc. are often classified as FSEs.

Sanitary Sewer Overflow

Sanitary Sewer Overflow

FSEs are required to have equipment called Grease Control Devices to collect FOG and prevent it from going down the sanitary sewer and to use approved Grease Haulers to clean the devices. They are also required to have two employees certified in Kitchen Best Management Practices. This certification can be achieved by reading the online training and passing an online test. There is a link below for these. A list of approved Grease Haulers can be found by visiting the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission “fat-free drains” web site (link below):


FOG Resources:


Contact Information:

Philip Jones (FOG Administrator)
Email: Backflow-FOG-Compliance@iwus.net
Phone: (757) 365-6260


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