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FOGs in your Sewer

What Fog?

Not Fog - FOGs! This stands for Fat, Oil and Grease and it comes from your dinner dishes, through your sink or dishwasher and into your sewer or septic tank. The amount of FOGs that enter the sanitary sewage system from domestic kitchens can USUALLY be dealt with by anaerobic digestion by bacteria in the sewer water. In other words, it is eaten up by the bugs in the sewer. BUT, where the sewer pipes are small or too many properties are connected or there is a commercial food preparation company discharging water to the sewers, the amount of FOG can overwhelm the bacteria and the FOGs do not get digested.

This leaves fat available to cling to any imperfection or roughness in the sewer. Once fat starts collecting, other items in the sewer (which should not be there in the first place) like so-called disposable baby wipes get caught up by the fat and become part of a fatberg. Fatbergs can be enormous, as big as a bus or even a jet aeroplane and can block sewers, leading to roadworks to clear them. Commercial premises in most areas MUST have a grease trap to collect grease and food solids before they enter the sewer syste,.

All About Grease Traps

You can read about grease traps, what they are, why they are needed and how they work on a Hubpages article here . You can see a video about grease traps on this webpage here . And you can see a video about clearing a fatberg here on Youtube .

Image Credit » Picture is mine, (c) MegL

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VinceSummers wrote on August 20, 2018, 7:52 PM

This was a topic on rare occasion at our local sewer plant. Once the local Chinese restaurant was considered responsible for an incident. The term fatberg is a new one to me!

MegL wrote on August 21, 2018, 11:18 AM

Fatberg is a very recent coined word but well recognised now in the UK.

lookatdesktop wrote on August 21, 2018, 4:20 PM

The City Sanitation Truck was out last summer, pumping water to flush out the grease or FOG as you call it, from the waste water pipes under the streets and as a result very dirty water started coming up from our toilet and our bath tub and strange sounds began to occur, that made us almost think there was some kind of earth quake happening. I got to walking a bit and wandered down the street and saw this City Truck with a gigantic tank and a large hose going down into the street through a man hole opening. The guy I talked to told me "not to worry, because they were trying to clear out the gunk and that was what was happening and therefore was only temporary." We had to use comet to clean out the tub and toilet as there was discoloration along with that gunk that came up as a result. But at least I was glad it wasn't a problem with our plumbing.

Last Edited: August 21, 2018, 4:25 PM

MegL wrote on August 21, 2018, 6:20 PM

That gunk can contain a lot of nasty stuff, like bacteria and viruses!

VinceSummers wrote on August 21, 2018, 10:23 PM

Good grief! The more you tell us, the less I want to live in Urban Texas!

MegL wrote on August 22, 2018, 2:47 AM

That is likely to happen anywhere in the world with a sewage system, where FOGs can be dumped into the sewer at levels that overwhelm the digesting bacteria. Did you watch the video about clearing the fatberg?

VinceSummers wrote on August 22, 2018, 4:58 PM

No. But I will. I can't use your URL. So I may not be watching the very same one you reference.

MegL wrote on August 22, 2018, 5:10 PM

Oh! I specifically chose Youtube for the video because I thought everywhere could watch it! Pity.

Last Edited: August 22, 2018, 5:13 PM

VinceSummers wrote on August 22, 2018, 6:23 PM

That makes two, now, that I've watched. You'd think they could melt down the fat and use it as a high-energy fuel...

MegL wrote on August 23, 2018, 2:10 AM

Thay can. It needs to be cleaned because there are food particles, baby wipes, and lots of other things in there. It can be used for bio diesel and energy production. Yellow fat can be collected direct from machines such as chicken roasters in shops and used for bio diesel.