Dingman Township

                                                      Pike County, Pennsylvania


Dingman Township Sewage Department Informational Pamphlet


Beware of the ...

Text Box: F.O.G. s
Fat – Oils - Grease







For years, doctors have warned Americans to limit their consumption of fats, oils, and grease (F.O.G.s). Research has found that a diet high in F.O.G.s can adversely affect your health. But what the doctors don’t tell you is that a diet high in F.O.G.s can seriously affect the health of your sewage disposal system.


How do F.O.G.s get into a sewage disposal system?


There are two ways that F.O.G.s get into a sewage disposal system. First is the direct method such as pouring cooking oils and grease down a sink. There is no reason for anyone to pour grease down a drain and doing so, even occasionally, is a recipe for disaster. Cooking oils and grease should be poured into a metal container (e.g. a coffee can), refrigerated until hard, then disposed of in the garbage. Greasy pans and plates should be wiped down with a paper towel to remove the grease before washing.


Indirectly, F.O.G.s enter the sewage system through the laundry and human body waste. Grease and oil soaked into clothing and rags will enter the sewage disposal system when washed. Use heavy-duty paper towels in place of rags. Pre-soak oily clothing in a bucket of soapy water to remove as much oil as possible before laundering.


Depending on the type of fat, oil, or grease, human body waste may convey up to 100% of the F.O.G.s consumed in a meal. Many people are unaware of how easily it is to consume F.O.G.s. The following chart shows the percent of F.O.G.s in commonly eaten products.


 Amount of F.O.G.s in selected common foods


Food Source

Percent F.O.G.s


Famous Fast Food Chain's Quarter Pound Hamburger with cheese

Famous Fast Food Chain's Medium Fries

Famous Fast Food Chain's Medium Shake




Famous Fast Food Chain's Fried Chicken

Famous Fast Food Chain's Biscuit

23 – 31%


Famous Fast Food Chain's Personal Pepperoni Pizza


Famous Fast Food Chain's Roast Beef Sandwich


Famous Fast Food Chain's Meatball sub with cheese


Famous Brand of Canned Beef Stew


Famous Brand of Canned Clam Chowder


Famous Brand of Salisbury Steak T.V. dinner


Famous Brand of Salad Dressing – Italian


Famous Brand of Ice-Cream


Famous Brand of Chocolate Cupcake


Famous Brand of Glazed Donut


Famous Brand of Chocolate Bar


Famous Brand of Potato Chips


Famous Brand of Corn Curl Snacks


Famous Brand of Tortilla Chips


Famous Brand of Chocolate Sandwich Cookies


Famous Brand of Processed American Cheese


Broiled Sirloin Steak


Poached Salmon


Roasted Dark Meat Turkey


Broiled Pork Chops



Note:   F.O.G. information taken from internet sources as published June 8, 2009. This information is for illustration purposes only. It is not intended to imply any health or unhealthy consequences of consuming the listed product nor to impune the products in any way. All products listed are nationally available brands.


In addition to food sources, F.O.G.s are also found in beauty products such as hand and body creams. These enter the sewage system through hand washing and bathing. Bath oils are another beauty care product that introduces F.O.G.s into the sewage system.


How do F.O.G.s affect a sewage disposal system?


In an elevated sandmound, F.O.G.s coat the sand rendering the sand impermeable. As effluent is pumped into the mound it finds no place to go. Pressure builds and the effluent pushes out of the berm at the point of least resistance.


Inground systems fair a little better. Without a pump to pressurize the absorption it takes a greater amount of F.O.G.s to clog the systems. But once the system is clogged, it usually backs up or surfaces in the yard.


How does a sewage disposal system address F.O.G.s?


Septic Systems: Every septic tank has a built-in grease trap to contain F.O.G.s. However, the space is limited and can fill quickly.


Aerobic Tanks: The ability to retain F.O.G.s varies among brands. Generally speaking, F.O.G.s retention is not as good as a septic tank.


How do I prevent F.O.G.s from destroying my sewage disposal system?


  1. Do not pour fats, oils, or grease down the drain.


  1. Use paper towels to wipe grease off plates and pans before washing.


  1. Limit the use of lotions, body creams, and bath oils.


  1. Do not use septic tank additives. Many emulsify F.O.G.s and allow them to pass to the absorption area.


  1. Pump your septic tank on a regular basis. A two-year cycle is satisfactory for most families. If you eat a lot of greasy foods, consider pumping more often.


  1. Check your dosing tank periodically. If grease is getting to your dosing tank, it is getting into your absorption area.


If F.O.G.s clog my absorption area, what can be done?


Sandmounds: In most cases the mound can be repaired, but it is a costly and messy process. In extreme cases, an entire new sewage disposal system may be required.


Inground: The absorption area will need to be replaced.


Should the sewage system need to be replaced and there is insufficient area and/or the soils are unsuitable, a holding tank may need to be installed – an extremely expensive proposition. Play it safe. Keep F.O.G.s out of the absorption area.


Chris Wood

Sewage Enforcement Officer

Office Hours:  9:00 – 10:30 AM   Monday through Friday

570 – 296 - 9260