Stormwater Education for Homeowners
Keeping Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Out of the Sewer System
Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) come from meat fats in food scraps, cooking oil, shortening, lard, butter and margarine, gravy, and food products such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, and sour cream.
FOG poured down kitchen drains accumulates inside sewer pipes. As the FOG builds up, it restricts the flow in the pipe and can cause untreated wastewater to back up into homes and businesses, resulting in high costs for cleanup and restoration.
Manholes can overflow into parks, yards, streets, and storm drains, allowing FOG to contaminate local waters, including drinking water. Exposure to untreated wastewater is a public-health hazard.
The North Texas Grease Abatement Council is an educational partnership between municipalities and water utilities in North Texas anchored by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). The cities and agencies involved in this project include Arlington (which maintains and operates the City of Kennedale’s water utility system), Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving, Grand Prairie and the Trinity River Authority (TRA). For more information, visit www.defendyourdrainsnorthtexas.com.
How to Properly Dispose of Used Cooking Oil
- Small amounts of cooking oil can be soaked up with a paper towel or poured into a closed-lid container such as a coffee can and disposed of in the trash.
- Dispose of large quantities of cooking oil and grease at the Fort Worth Environmental Collection Center (6400 Bridge Street in Fort Worth).
- To dispose of a large quantity of cooking oil, let the oil cool after use. Slowly pour kitty litter into the oil. When the oil has been absorbed, discard it in a tightly sealed trash bag to prevent leaks. The trash bag can now be placed in the garbage for proper disposal.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) also provides information about keeping fats, oil, and grease (FOG) out of the sewer system.
Did you know there are an estimated 60 million dogs in the United States? An average dog drops about 3/4 of a pound of waste daily. That’s 16.4 billion pounds of poop per year! When pet waste is left on the ground or disposed of improperly, water quality and your health may be at risk. Stormwater runoff can pick up pet waste as it washes down storm drains, drainage ditches, and into our creeks, rivers, and lakes.
Tips for Dealing with Pet Waste
- Attach a small bag or pouch to your dog’s leash so that you’ll always have the necessary supplies to pick up and dispose of the waste properly.
- Be creative in re-using materials for picking up pet droppings! Save plastic bread bags, plastic newspaper sleeves, or plastic produce bags and use them as scooping baggies.
- When using a baggie or plastic bag, slip it over your hand like a mitt, pick up the droppings, hold a top corner of the bag with your other hand, and quickly flip it inside-out. Then, dispose of it in a trash can.
- Once a week, clean up droppings around your yard and dispose of them in the trash can or look into purchasing a pet waste composter.
An "illicit discharge" is any discharge into a storm drain system that is not composed entirely of stormwater. This means that you are prohibited from causing or allowing anything other than simply the water that falls from the sky to enter a storm drain.
Most of us know that hazardous household chemicals, fertilizers, dog waste, car soaps, or automotive fluids can pollute and degrade local water quality if they end up in the stormwater system. However, even pool water falls into this category. Swimming pool drains must be connected to the sanitary sewer lines because what goes down your stormwater drain does not go to a water treatment facility. It goes directly into your local waters where people fish, swim, and play. Any pollutant that enters a storm drain will contaminate these local waterways being used for fun and food.
Please be cautious about what washes off of your property and notify Code Compliance if you observe an illicit discharge into the stormwater system.