A Recipe for Success in the Local Food Scene is knowing that FOG’s cause Clogs

Dealing with fats, oils and grease in restaurant kitchen

In the fast-paced world of restaurants and food services sector, the term FOG may not immediately ring a bell, but as a business owner you should be paying close attention. Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) can not only cause significant disruptions to your business but also to our sewer system and the local environment if not managed properly.

FOG buildup is notorious for causing clogs in pipes, reducing plumbing flow, emitting unpleasant odors, inviting in unwanted pests, and contributing to sewer backups and temporary business closure. Fixing these preventable challenges could end up costing your business significant time and money. 

Are you feeling immune to clogs because your business has a grease interceptor or grease trap? Well, the reality is that even if your business has a grease interceptor, it still needs to be properly sized and regularly maintained to be effective.

The grease interceptor’s job is to treat the wastewater of food service operations because they usually contain high concentrations of FOG and food residue. They treat wastewater by controlling the flow and allowing FOG to float to the top while solids settle at the bottom of the trap. Every food establishment will fill up their grease interceptor at different rates, meaning they should all be monitored regularly to ensure FOG and solids do not exceed twenty-five percent of the wetted height of the grease interceptor.

In the end, the most efficient way to avoid oily dilemmas is by getting on a regular cleaning schedule with a licensed liquid waste hauler to ensure FOG do not cause clogs. For more information about liquid waste haulers that can help your business, visit crd.bc.ca/tlw .

For those connected to the Capital Regional District (CRD) sanitary sewer, compliance with the CRD Sewer Use Bylaw No. 2922 is required for food service operations. Installing and maintaining a grease interceptor is not just a regulatory requirement, it is a key step toward preserving our local environment. 

The best solution to run your business worry-free is to make sure FOG are disposed of properly. In addition, training staff on proper FOG management and getting your grease interceptor cleaned regularly are two of the simplest ways businesses can protect their plumbing and meet bylaw requirements. 

Some other helpful tips are to remind your team which sinks are not connected to a grease interceptor, such as hand wash sinks, and strategically placing signs in the kitchen to reinforce what should never go down the drain. To find more tips and best practices visit www.crd.bc.ca/food 

Although every restaurant implements different key ingredients, some of the common sources of FOG include cooking oils and fats, salad dressings, sauces, nuts and seeds, meat, fish, dairy and alternate milk options. It is easy to think that because some of these products are liquid, they are harmless, nevertheless they create clogs, cause problems in sewers and contaminate the environment. 

Remember, being a responsible player in the local food scene involves safeguarding your business, respecting local regulations, and contributing to a healthy and safe environment.

Questions or concerns about FOG causing clogs? Contact the CRD at sourcecontrol@crd.bc.ca.