City of Fort Smith, Arkansas

Utility Department

Fats, Oils, & Grease



FOG is Fats, Oils, and Grease left over from food preparation and often washed down the sink drain. It can be found in both residential and commercial kitchens. It is of particular concern in commercial kitchens due to the large volume of FOG used to prepare food daily. 
FOG cools in the drain, separates from water, and sticks to the walls of pipes. It builds up over time and can clog or block the pipes completely, resulting in sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). FOG related overflows can cause raw sewage to back up into homes, businesses, and neighborhoods, leading to costly property damage, environmental damage, and civil penalties and fines. FOG causes approximately 80% of all dry weather SSOs within the City of Fort Smith.  

common sources of FOG


            Butter                  Meats

            Pastries              Cooking Oils

            Ice Cream           Mayonnaise

            Cookies              Marinades

            Margarine           Salad Dressings

            Cheese              Gravy

            Sauces               Food Scraps

            Peanut Butter     Yogurt

     Frosting              Au Jus

     Milk                     Bacon Grease


What can i do as a resident to help prevent fog from entering the sewer system?

  • Seal It – Pour cooled oil into the trash or a covered container.
  • Scrape It – Scrape leftover food and grease into the trash can before washing.
  • Wipe It – Wipe the rest of the grease away with paper towels.

JUST TRASH IT. Put fats, oils, and grease in the trash – NEVER down the drain.


What can I do as a commercial kitchen to help prevent FOG from entering the sewer system?

To reduce the amount of FOG entering the collection system, remember to SCRAPE.
  • Scrape or wipe grease and food scraps into a sealable container or trash bin.
  • Collect liquid cooking oils in an oil rendering tank or oil recycling container.
  • Rotate cleaning schedule among fryers and food preparation devices.
  • Assign clean-up tasks to specific employees
  • Prepare foods with minimal amounts of fats, oil, and grease.
  • Educate your employees on the importance of reducing FOG and following proper FOG Best Management Practices (BMPs).

common misconceptions


Contrary to popular belief, washing FOG down the drain with hot water, detergents, or using garbage disposals does not help. Please don’t:

  • Rinse It – Rinsing dishes with hot water does not prevent grease from hardening in the pipes.
  • Grind It – Garbage disposals won’t remove FOG. Chopped up, greasy food still causes clogs.
  • Chase It – Chasing grease with soap or detergents does not dissolve the problem
Learn more about FOG and help educate others with the following resources:
FOG Do's N Don'ts Flyer
Common Sources of FOG Poster
Restaurant Owner's Grease Management Guide
FOG Generator Public Outreach-FOG Ordinance Slides
FOG Activities & Coloring Sheets - See our Children's Educational Video on YouTube!