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

By following three simple steps, you can help keep your pipes clog-free:


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

[click on image to enlarge]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 SASD’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.


FOG Disposal Stations

Check out these facilities for disposal of larger quantities of FOG (e.g., used cooking oil):

Region: Sacramento

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

Region: Roseville

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.

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