​General Information

Greasy foods can be unhealthy for your body, but did you know that fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are bad for your plumbing system, too? In addition to cooking oils and grease, the following substances are also considered FOG: food scraps, meat fats, lard, shortening, butter/margarine, dairy products, batters, dressings, icing, and sauces. If poured or washed down the drain, these substances cling to pipe walls and build up over time.

It is up to all of us to do our part to prevent harmful blockages, backups, and sanitary sewer overflows caused by FOG. Preventing the problem is easy if you practice these good habits in the kitchen:
  • ​Never pour grease down the drain or into a toilet. Neither garbage disposals nor the piping in your home can handle these substances.
  • Scrape food scraps from plates into the trash.
  • Before washing, absorb small amounts of grease on pots, pans, dishes, and cooking utensils by wiping them with a paper towel - then dispose of it in the trash.
  • Once grease has cooled, pour it into an empty, heat-safe container (like a jar or can), secure a lid on it and place it in the trash.
  • Use a basket or strainer in your sink to catch food scraps, then empty into the trash.
  • Avoid using the garbage disposal - ground up food particles only contribute to pipe blockages.
  • Never use Additives, Enzymes or Bacteria in your drains or toilets.
Check out these Frequently Asked Questions or HRGreen for more information. If you still have FOG questions, send us an e-mail at fog@vbgov.com.
If you suspect a sanitary sewer stoppage, please call Public Utilities Operations at (757)385-1400. Together we can keep our pipes clean!

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