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Can The Grease

Researchers estimate that U.S. restaurants produce about 28 Billion gallons of used cooking oil each week. Much of these fats, oil and grease (FOG) end up in sewers and water systems, causing expensive blockages and backups, as well as overflows that damage the environment.

One teaspoon of grease, oil or fat from each of the City of Opelika’s almost 12,000 sewer customers creates ten 55 gallon drums of fats, oils and grease per month. When grease solidifies, it sticks to the sides of the sewer pipes and it can reduce the flow of an 8 inch pipe to 2 inches. With proper grease management, citizens of Opelika can minimize pollution and expenses.

Help your Business: Pipe bursts, overflows, backups and blockages can cost you a lot more money than proper FOG management. Food service establishments that contribute to FOG buildup in pipes can even face lawsuits and fines. Plus, the bad odors and pest problems caused by greasy pipes hurt business.

Help your Community: Every time grease gets in pipes, it causes problems for the City’s entire waste water system, from the underground sewer system to the waste water treatment plants. It can even cause sewage backup, which is a serious health hazard. Proper FOG management can improve your business’s image in the community.

Help the Environment: When FOG accumulates in sewer systems and leads to overflows, sewer waste can end up in lakes, streams and oceans,causing serious damage to the ecosystem. Furthermore, proper FOG management can help the environment by providing an otherwise wasted source of biodiesel.

A Grease Management Policy will protect the City of Opelika collection system, pumping stations and treatment plants from discharge of excess fats, oil and grease by ensuring that Food Service establishments are in compliance with the requirements of the Wastewater/Storm water Discharge Regulations.


For more information, please contact Michael Hilyer, City of Opelika/ESG (Public Works), at 334-705-5400.