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Properties Influencing Fat, Oil, and Grease Deposit Formation

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Fat, oil, and grease (FOG) deposits are the reported cause of 50 to 75% of sanitary sewer overflows in the United States, resulting in 1.8 × 10 6 m 3 (500 mil. gal) of raw wastewater released into the environment annually. The objective of this research was to characterize the chemical and physical properties of FOG deposits. Twenty-three cities from around the United States contributed FOG samples for the study. The FOG deposits showed a wide range in yield strength (4 to 34 kPa), porosity (10 to 24%), and moisture content (10 to 60%), suggesting uncontrolled formation processes. A majority of these deposits display hard, sandstonelike texture, with distinct layering effects, suggesting a discontinuous formation process. The results found that 84% of FOG deposits contained high concentrations of saturated fatty acids and calcium, suggesting preferential accumulation.

Keywords: blockages; fat; overflow; sewer system

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2008

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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