Household Waste: Fats, Rags, Oil and Grease (FROG)

Sewage is used water and waste discharged by a community’s residents and businesses. It is collected from the drains of sinks, showers, toilets and laundry facilities and flows into sewer lines or collection systems. From the sewer lines, sewage is then transported to a treatment facility.

Sewers back up when sewage collection lines get clogged by items flushed down toilets and drains, especially Fats, Rags, Oil and Grease (FROG) that get caught and plug up the lines. In addition to the costly repairs, sewer back-ups are messy, foul-smelling and pose a serious public health threat.

FROG disposed of down the toilet or drain can clog sewer collection systems, damage pumps in lift stations and damage sewer treatments facilities, which leads to sewage spills. These items also can contaminate the treated water that is discharged into the rivers, streams and groundwater.

Fats, Oils, Grease (FOG) in a sewer pipe.

Never flush the following items down the toilet or drain:

  • Disposable diapers and baby wipes; facial wipes; rags; cleaning or polishing wipes, kitty litter, paper towels; wipes and feminine hygiene products.
  • Cooking oil and grease, bacon grease, meat fats, food scraps, shortening, lard, butter, margarine, gravy and other food products such as mayonnaise, salad dressings and sour cream.
  • Acidic or toxic substances, including paint and paint thinners.
  • Motor oil.
  • Dye (hair and clothing) and tanning solutions.
  • Anything radioactive.
  • Flammable products, such as lighter fluid and acetone.
  • Any solid waste that does not naturally break down, including garbage, plastic bags and cigarette butts.

When fats, oil or grease are poured down kitchen drains or flushed down toilets, it accumulates inside sewer pipes. As the material builds up, it restricts the flow in the pipes and can cause untreated wastewater to back up into homes and businesses, resulting in high cleanup and repair costs for residents, business owners and cities.

Proper Disposal Tips

Please do the following:

  • Throw diapers, baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, rags, cleaning wipes and paper towels in the trash.
  • Freeze small amounts of fats, oils and grease in a container with a tight-sealing lid and dispose of in trash.
  • Large amounts of cooking oil and grease need to be properly disposed of. Information regarding special waste pickup can be found here.
  • Use a strainer in your sink to catch scraps.
  • Cover drains with fine screen or catch basket.

Cities and homeowners spend millions of dollars every year unplugging or replacing grease-blocked pipes, repairing sewer lift stations and cleaning up costly and illegal wastewater spills. Excessive F.R.O.G. in the sewer system also affects local wastewater rates. Keeping F.R.O.G. out of the sewer system helps everyone in the community.

The City of Irving participates in the Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) Outreach Initiative in accordance with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. This effort focuses on improved operation and maintenance measures, as well as the implementation of an educational outreach program. Our FROG Control Program is established to prevent the discharge of fats, rags, oils and grease into the sanitary sewer system.