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FOG: not just a driving hazard anymore

Proper Disposal of your cooking fats, oils and grease helps keep the sewer system flowing smoothly
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The holiday season is a time of year when most households kick up the cooking a notch. Holiday fare such as turkey, gravy, stuffing and pie is tasty, but it generates a lot of fats, oils and grease, which are sometimes known as FOG. If excess FOG goes down the drain, it can clog a home’s sewer or septic pipes, or the neighborhood sewer system. Many people think that, once FOG is washed down the drain, it is gone for good, especially when detergents claim to dissolve grease. In reality FOG doesn’t get far. As water cools, FOG sticks to the inside of sewer pipes or septic tanks and accumulates over time. The buildup of FOG can restrict or, in some cases, completely block the flow of sewage, causing backups that can create serious public health hazards and damage property. Cleaning them up can be expensive and unpleasant. The issue is so serious that a California Fats, Oils and Grease work group known as CalFOG was created in 2001 in response to increased focus by regulatory agencies on FOG-related sewer overflows. The group’s members include the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, League of California Cities and California Water Environment Association. So how should the public handle leftover holiday FOG? First collect FOG by scraping it from pots, pans and dishware, and store it in a container either under the sink or in the refrigerator. Once the container is full, please bring it to the Western Placer Waste Management Authority’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility. The facility accepts FOG and other household hazardous wastes everyday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is located on the corner of Athens Avenue and Fiddyment Road in Roseville. The entrance is on Athens about 1.5 miles west of the Thunder Valley Casino. There is a limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of waste per vehicle. For more information, residents in unincorporated areas are urged to contact Placer County Environmental Engineering at (530) 889-6846, go online to www.placer.ca.gov/sewer or send an e-mail to sewer@placer.ca.gov. For residents in the city of Rocklin and town of Loomis areas, please contact the South Placer Municipal Utility District at 786-8522 or go online to www.spmud.ca.gov.