How to dispose of fats, oils and grease (FOG)
Prevent costly blockages on your premises and in your local area. Learn how to dispose of FOG properly.
What are Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)?
FOG stands for fats, oils and grease and originate from food products such as butter, lard, vegetable oils, animal fats, meats, sauces and dairy products. They are generated during the preparation of food and from any cleaning/washing up processes.
FOG usually comes from kitchens of Food Service Establishments (FSEs) where food is prepared, cooked or served. These can include restaurants, takeaways, pubs which serve cooked food, cafés, coffee shops, hotels, B&Bs, convenience stores and supermarkets, garage forecourt shops with delicatessen counters, food production kitchens etc. Blockages caused by FOG can result in raw sewage overflowing from sewers into business premises, public areas, streams or rivers causing an environmental and public health hazard.
Apply for a Trade Effluent - FOG (Fats, Oils & Grease) Licence
A trade effluent discharge to sewer licence (issued under Section 16 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977, as amended) is a legal requirement if your business discharges trade effluent to a public sewer.
The problem with FOG
- Easy to pour down the drain: When fats, oils and grease are hot and are in liquid form, they pour easily down a drain or sink and appear harmless. However, when they cool, they solidify and build up inside the pipes causing serious blockages.
- Not easy or cheap to remove: The removal of FOG from sewers is a difficult and expensive process. Irish Water is responsible for the operation and maintenance of public sewers. This includes clearing blockages in sewers caused by FOG. However, blockages in private drains connecting to the public sewer are the responsibility of the business/property owner.
- Your liability in case of blockages: If FOG is discharged from your premises and causes blockages and flooding, you may be liable for covering the costs. This would include hiring specialist machinery, specialist personnel, loss of stock and premises clean up.
- Prevent blockages: If you are operating to best practice, you should already have a grease trap or grease removal unit(s) fitted at your business premises. It’s important to ensure this trap/removal unit is the correct size and is kept fully serviced in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
You should also keep your effluent records up to date with details like oil recycling and FOG control equipment maintenance.