Fats, Oil & Grease Reduction Program

Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG) Program

FOG is short for Fats, Oils, and Grease. FOG comes from many sources:

  • Baked goods
  • Butter & margarine
  • Cooking oil
  • Dairy products
  • Foods cooked in deep fryers
  • Lard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Meats
  • Pastries
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces & gravy
  • Shortening
FOG Sources

Fog entering the sewer system increases the cost of sewer service. 

FOG Prevention:

Following tips for homeowners, businesses, organizations and restaurants can help reduce the amount of FOG entering the sewer system and avoid expensive sewer backups, and plumbing emergencies, while helping protect water quality in our community. 

Do Don’t
  • Properly dispose of cooking oil by pouring it into a heat-proof, sealable container and placing the sealed container in the trash.
  • Scraping Food-FOG ReductionScrape food scraps into the trash, not the sink.

    Wipe pots, pans, and dishes with dry  paper towels  before rinsing or washing them. Then throw away the paper towels.
  • Use a sink strainer to catch food items, then empty the strainer into the trash.
  • Don’t use a garbage disposal or food grinder. Grinding food up does not remove FOG.
  • Don’t pour cooking oil, pan drippings, bacon grease, salad dressings, or sauces down the sink or toilet.
  • Don’t use cloth towels or rags to scrape plates or clean greasy or oily dishware. When you wash them, the grease will end up in the sewer.


FOG Reduction Program with Food Service Establishments (FSEs)

In an effort to help protect the City of Elkhart’s sewer infrastructure, reduce blockages and backups, on April 6, 2015, the City of Elkhart’s Council adopted Ordinance No. 5434 to regulate the discharge of fats, oil and grease (FOG) from food service establishments (FSEs).  This ordinance will take effect June 1, 2015.  The goal of this program is to help protect the City’s sewer infrastructure.  Passage of the ordinance is just one component of the City’s FOG program.  The City recognizes that FSEs are just one part of our customer base that may contribute to the buildup of FOG in the sewers. Other components of the program include the regulation of non-FSE industrial customers and outreach to local residents to reduce their contribution of FOG in the City’s sewer system. 

A major component of the FOG Program is the registration of ALL FSE’s connected to the City of Elkhart’s sewer system.  FSE’s established and open before June 1, 2015 will have 90 days (due August 30, 2015) to submit the FOG Discharge Certificate Registration Application (included in this packet).  FOG Discharge Certificate will be valid for 3 years from the date of issuance. 

Below are documents that will help FSEs better understand the FOG Program.  

FOG Ordinance No. 5434 FOG Awareness Packet FOG Certificate Registration Application
ORDINANCE No. 5434 - Regulating the Discharge of Fats, Oils and Grease FOG Awareness Packet 
(Includes overview brochure, Ordinance Summary Sheet, maintenance log--application not included!)
Fats, Oil & Grease Registration Certificate Application

FOG Certificate RENEWAL Application

Grease Trap/Interceptor Cleaning & Maintenance Record

Best Management Practices for Reducing Fats, Oil and Grease
Fats, Oil & Grease Certificate RENEWAL Application Grease Trap & Interceptor Cleaning and Maintenance Report Best Management Practices for  Reducing Fats, Oil and Grease
Click to view a copy of the FOG Policy (found in the Elkhart Public Works & Utilities Guide to Wastewater Policies). 
Click on this link to view a Grease Trap Cleaning Tutorial


Proposed Ord. No. 5434 RevisionsOn July 2, 2019, Elkhart's City Council adopted changes to the FOG ordinance.  The changes to the Ordinance were the result of a combined input from the Utility and with the local food service establishments.  These changes went into effect immediately will be referred to as Ordinance 5434 as amended.   

Click here to download a copy of the Ordinace No. 5434, as amended.

Additionally, the City of Elkhart's Board of Public Works approved changes to the FOG policy on July 16, 2019. 

Click here to download a copy of the current FOG Policy.

Thank you food service establishments for your continued efforts to eliminate fats, oil and grease in our sewer system.  

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