Fats, Oils & Grease Program


Fats, oils and grease is the number one cause of clogged pipes in sewer systems, causing sewage spills that reach our creeks and close San Diego County beaches. Grease in the sewer is like cholesterol in the human body - it clogs the arteries. Grease sticks to the inside of sewer pipes, builds up, and eventually causes complete blockages.

Prevent Sewer Spills

You can help prevent future sewer spills by taking these simple steps:

  • Do not pour cooking oil, shortening, lard, meat dripping, butter, gravy or mayonnaise down the drain.
  • Pour the above substances into a milk carton, frozen juice can or other non-recyclable container, and throw it in the garbage, not down the drain.
  • Before you wash greasy pots and pans, or put them in the dishwasher, wipe out the grease with a paper towel, and throw the towel in the garbage.
  • Throw meat scraps, fat and skin in the garbage can, not the garbage disposal.

Restaurants & Commercial Sewer Customers

Padre Dam is required by state law to implement a comprehensive fats, oils and grease (FOG) control program to prevent the discharge of FOG into the sewer system. FOG from restaurants or other food service establishments (FSEs) are a major cause of sewer line blockages and spills. Sewer spills often make their way into the storm water system and become a significant cause of pollution in our waterways and ocean.

Padre Dam's FSEs are required to install a grease trap or interceptor to avoid FOG down the drain. For a grease trap or interceptor to work correctly, it must be properly designed, installed and maintained. Padre Dam will conduct regular inspections of food preparation areas, grease traps and interceptors and provide operating maintenance requirements.

FSEs must obtain a Wastewater Discharge Permit (PDF). FSEs must design, install and maintain a grease removal device such as a grease trap or grease interceptor as required and approved by the District.


Watch Padre Dam's FOG Training Video to find out more about FOG best practices and what your business should be doing. Call Code Compliance 619-258-4653 or email Code Compliance for more information on Padre Dam's FOG Program.