Fats, Oils, and Grease Program (FOG) - FAQ's

Regulatory Services Group

Fats, Oils, and Grease Program (FOG)

What is FOG?

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) is a byproduct of cooking and meat cutting.  FOG can be found in meat fats, oils, shortening, butter, margarine, sauces, and dairy products.

Why is FOG an issue for my business?

FOG accumulates in sewer pipes and causes blockages.  Grease blockages cause sewer overflows and basement backups.  Restaurants and other food service establishments can be closed down due to blockages and backups.  Restaurants and other food service establishments can also be held financially responsible for damages resulting from blockages and backups.

WSSC Regulations require grease abatement.  In accordance with Federal Environmental Protection Agency requirements, WSSC is campaigning to control the discharge of FOG to the sewer system.  In addition to reaching out to customers and advising them how to properly manage FOG, we are increasing our regulation of food service establishments.  All food service establishments will receive regular inspections and will be required to obtain a Food Service Establishment Wastewater Discharge Permit in order to operate.

What will WSSC FOG Investigators be looking for?

WSSC’s team of FOG Investigators will inspect the sewer system for grease accumulation.  They will verify that the food service establishment is implementing Best Management Practices for controlling FOG.  The grease abatement system will be inspected to verify that it is adequately sized for the connected fixtures, that it is being properly maintained, and that it is in operating condition.  If no grease abatement system is present, the food service establishment may be required to install one (or more, if necessary).

What types of businesses require a Wastewater Discharge Permit?

Restaurants, cafeterias, hotel kitchens, church kitchens, hospital cafeterias, bars, and any other commercial or industrial operation that discharges wastewater that contains FOG.

How do I obtain a Wastewater Discharge Permit?

Simply complete a permit application and mail to

FOG Unit
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
14501 Sweitzer Lane – Lobby Level – Rm. 1098
Laurel, MD  20707

After your permit application has been evaluated and your facility has been inspected, your permit will be mailed.

Are there any fees involved?

Yes.  All permitted food service establishments will be assessed an annual discharge fee.  The fee will be reassessed annually on the anniversary of the permit issuance date.

 

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