In early Fall, the DPW, in collaboration with the City Health Department and Department of Housing and Community Development, implemented a Fats, Oils and grease (FOG) program to control the amount of FOG discharged into the City’s sanitary sewer system. The FOG program is one of many operational requirements set forth by a Consent Decree agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of the Environment.
FOG-laden wastewater discharged to the city’s sanitary sewer system, accumulates in the pipes and creates sewer backups (usually through kitchen and bathroom fixtures), and blockages that can result in sanitary sewer overflows. These discharges negatively impact public health.
DPW inspectors began visiting restaurants, carry outs, markets, convenience stores, hotels, hospitals, educational facilities and other types of food service establishments around the city in early November to educate them about the FOG program. The inspectors will work with establishments to ensure they are properly managing and disposing of FOG and utilizing best kitchen practices in food preparation.
“Those involved in food preparation need to be aware of the impact of FOG to the City’s sewer system,” says DPW Director Alfred H. Foxx. “We all have a role to play in keeping the sewer system operating properly.”
Although the main contributors to FOG in the sanitary sewer system are food service establishments through their food preparation and cleaning operations, all residents are reminded that incorrect disposal of FOG in their homes also contribute to the problem.
The DPW wishes a Happy Thanksgiving to all and reminds residents to think twice about what grease does to the City’s pipes.
For more information about the FOG program, go to the Wastewater tab at www.cleanwaterbaltimore.org.
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