Treat Your Pipes Right

Learn how to prevent sewer clogs at home


The majority of sewer backups and overflows caused by fats, oils, and grease (FOG) originate in residential areas. You can help prevent clogs by learning about FOG and how to dispose of it. Some common sources of FOG include:

  • Meat
  • Fatty food scraps
  • Lard
  • Salad dressings
  • Creamy or oily sauces
  • Marinades
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Shortening
  • Butter or margarine
  • Peanut butter

Fight the FOG with these two easy steps:

Pro tip! For used cooking oil—like what’s needed for deep-frying—check with your local waste service provider for proper disposal.


You May Be Doing It Wrong!

Some major misconceptions can lead to big clogs in your sewer pipes.

“Hot water dissolves grease!”

Not true! Using hot water and soap to “dissolve” oil and grease and wash it down the drain will not work. Grease will still stick to pipes after it cools.

“My in-sink disposal takes care of grease!”

Wrong again! A garbage disposal won’t make fatty and greasy food scraps disappear. Once they’ve passed the disposal, they can still clog the pipe.

“I’ve never had a clog, so there’s no problem!”

Wishful thinking! Just because fats, oils, and grease make it down the drain doesn’t mean they aren’t building up in your pipes and sewer lines. Over time, they can cause a nasty clog and sewer backup or overflow!

General information

How FOG Clogs Pipes

Just as fat accumulates and causes blockages in human arteries, oil and grease solidifies and accumulates in household pipes, restricting the flow of wastewater and causing sewer backups and overflows.

How it starts: Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) separates from other liquids as it goes down your drain. The FOG cools and sticks to household pipes and sewer pipes.

A matter of time: Over time, pipes become clogged and sewage flow becomes restricted.

Nowhere to go but back: The clogged pipe eventually backs up and floods your home with wastewater. Or it causes it to overflow onto the street.


FOG Frequently Asked Questions

Are fats, oils, and grease (FOG) a real problem?

Yes! FOG is responsible for more than half of SacSewer’s sewer problems. When poured down the drain, FOG clogs the sewer system and causes backups or overflows. The result:

  • Property damage
  • Increased customer rates
  • Health and environmental hazards
  • Increased maintenance for cleaning messes and replacing sewer pipes

How does FOG create a sewer blockage?

When poured down the drain, FOG cools, solidifies, and floats to the top of other liquids in sewer pipes. The FOG layer sticks to the sewer pipes and, over time, restricts wastewater flow. It can then cause a sewer backup or overflow.


Cooking Oil Recycling

Check out these facilities for disposal of used cooking oil.

Region: Sacramento

City of Sacramento Curbside Pickup (city residents only)

Sacramento Recycling and Transfer Station HHW Facility
Website | Map
8491 Fruitridge Road, Sacramento
(916) 379-0500
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Region: Folsom

Call (916) 355-8397 or visit to schedule a pick-up.

Region: Elk Grove

City of Elk Grove Special Waste Collection Center (SWCC)
Website | Map
9255 Disposal Lane, Elk Grove
(916) 627-3232
Hours: Sunday–Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Region: West Sacramento

West Sacramento Curbside Pickup
Request used oil containers, filter bags, and curbside pickup.
(916) 844-1508

Region: Unincorporated Sacramento County

Curbside Collection: Available for county residents on their regularly scheduled garbage/recycling day. For packaging requirements and more information, please visit Sacramento County’s Waste Management and Recycling website or call (916) 875-5555.

North Area Recovery Station HHW Facility
Website | Map
(916) 875-5555
4450 Roseville Road, North Highlands
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Log in