Fats, Oils, & Grease

Fats, Oils, & Grease (FOG)

Just as fats, oils, and grease (FOG) clog our arteries, they also clog pipes both inside your home and outside in our sewer system. Once the grease is in the drain, it sticks to the sides of sewer pipes, both on your property and in the public sewer system. Over time, the grease will build up and block the pipes. Even if you don’t experience back-ups, you could be impacting your neighbors downstream, leading to costly repairs and cleanups or sewer overflows that damage the system and pollute our waterways.

FOG accumulation in the public sewer system causes sewer blockages, which eventually result in sewer backups that can overflow onto streets and into homes, damaging property and the environment. Sewer system maintenance in neighborhoods that experience sewer blockages and backups due to FOG accumulation is expensive and can result in higher sewer bills for customers.

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) estimates that about 15 percent of blockages in its public sewer system are caused by FOG. What can you do to help? The easiest way is to keep fats, oils, and grease out of the public sewer system:

  • Never pour grease down sink drains, into toilets, or down the sewer system.
  • Encourage friends and neighbors to keep FOG out of the sewer system.
  • Scrape visible FOG and food scraps from pots, pans, and dishes and dispose of materials in the trash before washing dishes.
  • Use sink strainers to catch food items and then empty the strainer into the trash.
  • Pour fats, oils, and grease into an empty pet food, vegetable, or coffee can or jar. Once the materials have cooled and solidified and the container is full, secure the lid, and place the container in the trash. COOL IT, CAN IT, & TRASH IT.
  • If you would like a free FOG lid to cover the can, they are available at your local municipality or at MSD’s Administrative Offices, 2350 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103.
  • To report a grease spill or blockage, contact us at (314) 768-6260.

FOG Links & Resources

FOG Fact Sheet

KTVI’s Tim Ezell talks about Fats, Oils, and Greases (FOG) with Bess McCoy from MSD

View the FOG press release – “MSD asks for homeowners help to reduce grease-related overflows this holiday season.”