City of Lakeport, California

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Program

In 2008, the Lakeport City Council adopted a new sewer use code, applicable to all residential and commercial facilities located within the City of Lakeport Municipal Sewer District. Incorporated into the new regulations (Ch. 13.20, Lakeport Municipal Code) was the establishment of a fats, oils and grease program (otherwise known as a FOG Program), which helps the City and local food service facilities reduce, if not eliminate entirely, discharge to the sewer system originating from the preparation of food and beverages that can result in blockages to sewer laterals and mains.
As a requirement of the Program, most food service facilities within the District that do not have installed a properly sized grease interceptor must do so no later than August 1, 2009. Additionally, that grease interceptor must be maintained regularly and cleaned no fewer than once every sixty (60) days according to the adopted regulations.
Several guides and other informational materials are available here outlining ways to reduce FOG, proper maintenance of grease traps and interceptors, and information on vendors who specialize in grease hauling and interceptor maintenance that can help save you money.  We encourage you to share this information with your management personnel and staff. Also included are posters detailing best management practices for the proper disposal of grease. Please display these posters in kitchen areas where easily viewable by your employees – preferably above sinks or drains.
For information on selecting the proper size of your grease trap or interceptor, click here.
What is FOG?
FOG is an acronym for Fats, Oils, and Grease which is commonly found in wastewater.
Why is FOG a problem?
Fats in wastewater are among the more stable of the organic compounds and are not easily decomposed by bacteria so these fats coat, congeal, and accumulate on pipes, pumps, equipment and sometimes obstruct lines.
Is FOG a problem in Lakeport?
Yes, The City routinely performs maintenance on the collection system, lift stations, and treatment facility to remove grease, but maintenance is not enough to stop spills from taking place.
What can be done to Stop FOG?
Control FOG at the source…keep it from entering the sewer system.
  • Best management practices (BMPs) can go a long way toward reducing FOG in the sanitary sewer system.  Please see FOG Documents for further information.
  • Use pretreatment like grease traps or interceptors, skimmers, separators, and process flow treatment systems, such as carbon filtration or coagulation units.
  • The City's sewer use ordinance provides regulations and enforcement provisions that will enable city staff to ensure that FOG does not create problems for local businesses and residents.
What is a grease trap and how does it work?
A grease trap is a small reservoir built into the wastewater piping, a short distance from a grease producing area. Baffles in the reservoir retain the wastewater long enough for the grease to congeal and rise to the surface. The grease can then be removed and disposed of properly. A diagram of a typical grease trap is presented below.
What is a grease interceptor and how does it differ from a trap?
First, we should clarify: the term grease interceptor is thrown around loosely and can refer to any type of wastewater pretreatment device for the purpose of collecting and storing fats, oils, or grease before that water reaches the sewer. It can also refer to a type of grease trap that is larger and slightly more complex than a standard device. As referred to here, a grease interceptor is a vault with a minimum capacity of between 500 and 750 gallons, located on the exterior of the building. The capacity of the interceptor provides adequate residence time so that wastewater has time to cool, allowing the remaining grease not collected by the traps time to congeal and rise to the surface, where it accumulates until the interceptor is cleaned. The figure below illustrates a typical grease interceptor.
How can I get my business in compliance?
Great question! If your business does not have a grease interceptor, and you produce fats, oils and grease, you will need to request a grease trap/interceptor installation permit. Contact the City’s Community Development Department at 263-3056, ext. 204 for more information.
If you have a grease trap or interceptor and believe that it may be ineffective at keeping FOG out of the sanitary sewer (i.e. needs frequent cleaning, backups occurring in kitchen, etc.), you may need to upgrade or replace your existing grease trap/interceptor. A grease trap/interceptor installation permit will be required for this as well.
To assess your grease discharge practices and determine if your efforts to minimize FOG are adequate, complete a Food Service Assessment Checklist. Contact the City’s Compliance Officer at 263-3578, ext. 106 or at to receive a copy or to discuss your particular grease trap or interceptor issue.