F.O.G. Abatement Program

Stamford's Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG) Abatement Program

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) are found in food products such as meat, butter and margarine, cooking oil, lard and shortening, baked goods, sauces, and dairy products. When FOG is discharged down the drain, it can cause blockages in wastepipes in apartments, homes, commercial buildings, and the public sanitary sewer system. Blockages in the pipes can lead to sewer back-ups. Sewer back-ups can flood residences, businesses, city streets, and city sidewalks with untreated raw sewage. Cleaning up a sewage back-up and clearing FOG clogs in the pipes are extremely costly. Damaged items such as carpeting and upholstered furniture cannot be cleaned and must be discarded. Nearly one half of sewage back-ups are caused by FOG clogs in the pipes. Thousands of dollars are spent each year clearing public sewer lines of FOG clogs to try and prevent sewer back-ups from happening. In recent years, the Stamford WPCA has removed over 1.25 million pounds of fats, oils, and grease from the sanitary sewer system.

What can you do to prevent a FOG Clog?    Click here for an educational brochure!

Make sure all of your sinks have strainers. Empty the food scraps from the strainers into the trash, not down the sink. 

Avoid using garbage disposals/grinders where FOG can be discharge down the drain.Dishes

Recycle the FOG that is left over in pots and pans from cooking. Once the FOG has cooled, pour or spoon it into a durable container with a secure lid. The container should be stored out of reach of children and pets. Stamford residents can bring their FOG in the container for recycling at the Katrina Mygatt Recycling Center 130 Magee Avenue.

Prior to washing, use disposable towels and dry wipe residual FOG in pots and pans from cooking, and on dishes and utensils. Discard used disposable towels such as absorbent paper towels in the trash.

Commercial Food Service Establishments

In 2005, the State of CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) established a General Permit for the Discharge of Wastewater Associated with Food Service Establishments. The general permit was renewed in 2015. This permit governs the management and discharge of FOG generated by Class III and Class IV food service establishments (FSE’s) operating in the State of Connecticut. A significant portion of the permit focuses on the installation and maintenance of grease management equipment, the storage and disposal of renderable and non-renderable FOG, record keeping, and minimizing the discharge of FOG into sanitary sewers by implementing employee best management practices.

In 2009, the City of Stamford enacted Ordinance No. 1104 concerning the discharge of wastewater from food preparation establishments known as Article V Abatement of Fats, Oils, and Grease Discharge into Public Sewers of Chapter 200-Sewers in the City of Stamford Code of Ordinances. The Stamford Water Pollution Control Authority (SWPCA) is the responsible agency to enforce this ordinance and SWPCA is also responsible to promulgate regulations, policies and procedures related to the control of fats, oils, and grease. The requirements set forth in Article V of Chapter 200 and the City’s FOG Abatement Program is applicable to Stamford’s Class III and Class IV food service establishments. Routine and follow-up inspections of the establishments are conducted by SWPCA to determine compliance with program requirements. There are monetary fines and enforcement action(s) associated with non-compliance.

As part of FOG Abatement Program requirements, the owner/operators of the food service establishments are obliged to:

  • Register the food service establishment with SWPCA.
  • Prepare and implement an approved FOG Abatement Plan at the establishment. The FOG Abatement Plan describes the actions to be taken by the owners, managers, and employees of the food service establishment to properly manage and minimize the discharge of FOG generated by the facility. When preparing a FOG Abatement Plan, the FSE owners should refer to the guidance document listed below.
  • Install and properly maintain adequate and approved grease management equipment. Ensure all of the appropriate equipment, fixtures, or drains discharge into the grease management equipment.
  • Properly manage and control the storage and disposal of renderable and non-renderable FOG generated by the facility to prevent the FOG discharging into the city’s sanitary or stormwater systems.
  • Maintain records on grease management equipment maintenance and the storage and disposal of renderable and non-renderable FOG.
  • Obtain from SWPCA, a Permit to Discharge wastewater generated by the food service establishment into the sanitary sewer system. A Permit to Discharge is issued once the food service establishment is in compliance with the program requirements.