Fat-Free Sewers

Sewer pipe clogged with grease.

Reducing Fats, Oils and Grease in Our Sewers

What is FOG?

Fats, oils and grease (FOG) is a byproduct of food processing and preparation. Examples of FOG are deep fried foods, condiments, meat, fish, lard, cooking oil, bacon drippings, peanut butter, margarine, butter, sauces, gravies, dairy products and food scrapes.

Whyshould FOG matter to you?

Fats, oils and greases aren't just bad for your arteries and waistline: they're bad for your sewer, too! When even small amounts of FOG are washed down a sink or drain, it can build up over time and can cause sewer blockages in your pipes, in your neighbor's pipes and in the city's sewer infrastructure.

The results of a grease blocked sewer pipe can be:

  • sewage overflows in your home, business or your neighbor's home
  • expensive and unpleasant cleanup that is often the owner's responsibility
  • possible contact with disease-causing organisms
  • an increase in operation and maintenance costs at the Arcadia Wastewater Treatment Plant, which may cause higher sewer bills for customers

No FOGHow can you help to reduce FOG in our sewers?

By following a few simple guidelines you will greatly reduce the amount of FOG that could cause blockages in your pipes and that enters our sanitary sewer system.

  • NEVERpour fats, oils or grease down your drain - this includes sink drains, floor drains and toilets.
  • Pour cooled cooking fat or grease into a container and once it solidifies dispose of in the garbage. Cool It, Can It, Trash It!
  • Garbage disposals do not keep grease out of the plumbing system. Garbage disposals are designed only to grind solid materials into smaller pieces; use sparingly.
  • Scrape food scraps and grease from dishes before washing or putting in the dishwasher. You can use paper towels to wipe grease from dishes. Dispose of scraps and greasy paper towels in the garbage.
  • Before washing, wipe pots and pans clean with a paper towel and put into the trash.

What does the Arcadia Wastewater say about grease in the sewers?

The City of Arcadia Ordinance No. 153 - Sewer use and User Charge Ordinance regulates use of the City's sewer system.

Section 153.2.2 (r) Discharge of fryer oil into the sewer system is prohibited.

No Grease SignsSection 153.2.9 General Discharge Prohibitions. No person shall contribute or cause to be discharged, directly or indirectly, any of the following described substances into the wastewater facilities of the City:

(ii) Solid or viscous substances which will or may cause obstruction to the flow in a sewer or other interference with the operation of the wastewater system.

Section 9.2.3 Violations and Penalties

(c) Deleterious Discharge. Any person found to be responsible for accidentally allowing a deleterious discharge into the wastewater facilities which causes damage to the wastewater facilities, wastewater treatment works or receiving water body shall, in addition to a forfeiture, pay the amount to repair all damages, both of which will be established by the Common Council.

(f) Damage Recovery. The City shall have the right to recovery from all persons of any expense incurred for the repair or replacement of any part of the wastewater facilities or wastewater treatment works damaged in any manner by any person by the performance of any work under their control, or by any negligent or willful acts of that person or that person's employees or agents.

For questions or concerns regarding FOG, please contact the Arcadia Wastewater Department at 608-323-3452, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 4 pm.



City of Arcadia Ordinance 153 - Sewer Use and User's Charges

FOG Newsletter for Homeowners

FOG Newsletter for Homeowners - Spanish

Notice to City of Arcadia Homeowners & Business Owners

You are responsible for maintaining your sewer lateral (the pipe that connects your house or business to the City's sewer main).

Facts About FOG

  • Even though soaps break up grease, it loses its effectiveness downstream, allowing grease to solidify on the pipe walls.
  • Running hot tap water will NOT help grease through a sewer pipe because the water will eventually cool as it flows through the pipe and the grease will become solid again.
  • Cooking oils float on water and adhere to sewer pipes. It is best to avoid pouring oil down the drain altogether to avoid sewer problems.
  • The EASIEST way to solve the grease problem and prevent sewage overflows is to keep it out of the sewer system in the first place!

You Can Make A Difference!

By keeping just 1 tablespoon of FOG out of your drains each day amounts to 12 pounds of FOG a year from running through your pipes and the Arcadia Wastewater Treatment Plant.