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This paper is a condensed version of the Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Study Report that was completed in June of 2003. The study was conducted to address the problem of cooking grease in wastewater discharged from Food Service Establishments (FSEs - those establishments primarily engaged in preparing or serving food to the public such as restaurants, hotels, commercial kitchens, bakeries, caterers, schools, prisons, correctional facilities, and care institutions), multi-family housing, and single family homes causing fats, oils, and grease (FOG) (or grease) blockages in Orange County, California's sanitary sewer collection systems. These grease blockages, located in either the property owner's sewer lateral or the sanitary sewerage system, lead to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), which can cause untreated sewage to flow onto streets and travel to storm drains, creeks, and other surface waters. Untreated sewage on private property or in the streets poses an obvious human health risk. If this sewage reaches the ocean, it often results in coastal contamination, beach closures, and the associated potential human health risks. This has made the control of grease blockages a priority and high profile concern for Orange County, California residents, agencies, environmental groups, businesses, and regulators. Because of this, the Orange County, California Grand Jury conducted an investigation and in 2001, the Grand Jury presented recommendations to Orange County cities and agencies to evaluate, adopt, and implement regional measures to eliminate the environmental impact of the grease accumulation and blockage in the sewerage system. The Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) Santa Ana Region subsequently issued a Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) in April 2002 in response to the regional problem of SSOs.

The Study provided the entities (co-permittees) with programmatic and technical options (or “Building Blocks”) in developing FOG control strategies for minimizing FOG discharges to the sewer system. These Building Blocks are to be utilized to develop effective FOG control programs to reduce sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). The study was administered and managed by the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) and was funded jointly by Orange County California cities and special districts, the County of Orange, and OCSD.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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