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Fats, Oils and Grease Management Program

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Fats, Oils and Grease Management Program

Sanitary sewers are designed and installed with sufficient diameter to carry the normal waste discharges from a residence or business. When fats, oils and grease are discharged to the sewer system, it cools and accumulates on the sidewalls of the sewer pipes. Over time, this accumulation of fats, oils and grease congeals to the inside of the sewer collection system which restricts the flow, requires more routine maintenance, requires more frequent replacement of collection system and causes blockages in the sewer system, which may result in overflowing manholes or residential and commercial sewer backups.

The City of Hamilton is helping the food service operations understand the problems associated with fats, oils and grease discharges and to provide business owners assistance in managing fats, oils and grease correctly through the use of Best Management Practices (BMP’s).

What Is The Fats, Oils and Grease Management Program?

The Fats, Oils and Grease Management Program is a program for managing waste materials generated by food service operations.

What are Fats, Oils and Grease (F.O.G.)?

Not everything you may pour down the drain will make it to the City of Hamilton’s waterways. Fats, Oils and Grease, also known as F.O.G., can stick to your sewer pipe eventually blocking the pipe and causing a sewage backup as well as overflows and high costs for clean up and restoration work.

Blockages in your sewer may also cause raw sewage to discharge onto your property or your neighbours property. This can be a serious health hazard to the occupants of these properties and may be a very costly problem.

Currently, within the City of Hamilton, the occurrence of grease build-up within our sewers has become an increasingly costly and time consuming problem.

Why Are Fats, Oils & Grease A Concern?

Fats, oils and grease can plug sewer lines and foul sewage pump and lift stations. This problem is particularly evident in areas where there are high concentrations of food service sector businesses, including bakeries, butcher shops, grocery stores, institutional kitchens, restaurants, delis and fast food outlets. Plugged sewer lines can result in sewer overflows, a serious health and environmental concern, and necessitate significant maintenance and cleanup costs. If F.O.G. exits the sewer system it may cause harm to the City’s waterways.

What Food Service Operations Are Incorporated Into The City of Hamilton’s Fats, Oils and Grease Management Program?

Food Services Operations are abundant throughout the City of Hamilton. Businesses in this area are involved in the preparation, packaging, shipping, sales or serving of food and the washing of food preparation equipment. Food services operations can generate a variety of by-products and recoverable wastes in their operations, including substances such as fats, oils and grease. Food Service Operations inlcude but are not limited to:

Family Style Restaurants

Fast Food Restaurants

Grocery Stores

Banquet Centres

Retirement Homes

Nursing Homes



Recreational Facilities



Work Cafeterias



Food Processing Operations

Coffee Shops

Where Does The Grease Come From?

Most people know that grease is a by-product of cooking. Grease is generated from such things as but are not limited to:

Sandwich Spreads



Dairy Products






Meat Fats


Food Scraps

Cooking Oils



Baked Goods

Milks and Creams


Most of the fats, oils and grease are disposed of down the sink drain during food preparation and after meal clean up. The fats, oils and grease enter the sewer pipes and sticks to the sides and roof of the pipes. Over time the fats, oils and grease builds up to a point in which the pipe is entirely blocked off resulting in sewage backups and overflows onto your property.

What Can Food Service Operations Do To Help?

By adhering to the City of Hamilton’s Fats, Oils and Grease Management Program, owners of Food Services Operations will help protect our sewer systems and our waterways from contaminants. The City of Hamilton’s Fats, Oils and Grease Management Program contains a number of recommendations as well as Best Management Practices.

The Fats, Oils and Grease Management Program also contains a number of helpful tips to increase water efficiency and practice conservation. By taking steps to reduce energy and water consumption in food services operations, owners will do a world of good for the environment.


All Food Services Operations are subject to routine inspections. In addition, Food Services Operations may be inspected, with out notice and during business hours at any time for a routine inspections, in response to complaints or reports of sewer blockages.

Best Management Practices

The best way to manage fats, oils and grease is to keep them out of the plumbing system in the first place! By following the Fats, Oils and Grease Best Management Practices you will be working towards having a clean plumbing system.

To view the City of Hamilton’s Fats, Oils and Grease Best Management Practices Please Click on the Link Below.

*P2 Grease Control Device Service Company List



* Grease Control Device - Evacuation Record Verification Form

* Used Cooking Oil Service Company List

Last revised: March, 2011


Links To:

Sewer Use By-law

Business Education Information & Outreach

Code of Practice Program

Fats, Oils and Grease Management Program

Residential Pollution Prevention Educational Program

Pollution Prevention Planning Program

P2 Brochures