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FOGG Retention Program

The FOGG Retention Program is a program designed to help businesses properly manage their fats, oils, grease, and grit (FOGG) to prevent it from entering the sewer system and causing blockages or backups. 

As part of the program, businesses are required to have a properly sized and installed grease interceptor or grease trap that is regularly maintained and pumped out. The City of Westminster offers inspections and assistance with compliance to businesses that participate in the program. 

Businesses that participate in the FOGG Retention Program also receive educational materials and training on Best Management Practices for FOGG. By participating in the program, businesses are doing their part to protect the environment and public health while avoiding costly fines and repairs associated with sewer backups. 

The goal of this program is to provide businesses with resources and training on best practices for managing their wastewater, such as proper disposal methods for fats, oils, and grease. By demonstrating the benefits of proper wastewater management and providing businesses with the tools and resources they need to comply with regulations, businesses can take action to protect their business and the environment. 



Tips for Businesses Managing FOGG 

  • Strain or filter oil in deep fryers to help your cooking oil last longer.  
  • Be sure to monitor your deep fryer’s temperature so you don’t scorch your oil. Temperature regulation helps keep oil out of the grease interceptor. 
  • Recycle cooking oils and leftover grease into a yellow grease container for removal. Remember that grease is valuable — grease and oil can be recycled into other useful products.  
    • In fact, recycled grease and oil can be turned into products such as biodiesel fuel, animal feed, and even cosmetics. 
  • Train staff on how to limit their use of FOGG in food preparation. 
  • Don’t use your garbage disposal to grind up FOGG. 
  • Use dry cleanup methods to reduce water consumption and save money. Scrape food waste from your pans and plates into the trashcan before washing in the sink. 
  • Use absorbent paper to soak up FOGG under fryer baskets. 
  • Use paper towels to wipe down work areas. Cloth towels will accumulate grease that will eventually end up in your drains when washing. 
  • Minimize the use of dish soap in dishwashing operations. Dish soap emulsifies FOGG and enables it to pass through a grease interceptor. It will later coagulate in sewer lines. 
  • Maintain your grease interceptor. It's important to regularly pump your FOGG retention device after cleaning to ensure it is working properly.   

FOGG Inspections 

The city regularly conducts FOGG inspection on all grease interceptors. This is done to ensure that they are properly maintained and functioning correctly. These inspections help businesses identify potential issues before they turn into major problems such as backups or overflows. 

Here are some additional reasons to schedule a meeting with our FOGG inspector: 

  • You received a “failure notice” and don’t know why. 
  • You're a new business and have questions. Maybe you’re not sure why you need one or where you can even get one.  
  • You have noticed slow drainage or backups in your sinks, or drains and have had them cleaned recently 
  • You have experienced foul odors coming from your plumbing system 
  • You have recently changed your menu or cooking practices, which could impact the amount of FOGG generated in your kitchen 
  • It has been a while since your last inspection or pump-out, and you want to ensure everything is functioning properly 
  • You have made changes to your plumbing system or added new equipment that could impact the function of your grease interceptor. 

If you would like to schedule a meeting with our FOGG inspector, call the City's Water Division for assistance at 303-658-2500.

Frequently Asked Questions

A grease trap is a small device connected to the outgoing drains of sinks inside a restaurant that is designed to capture and retain fats, oils, grease, and solids (FOGS) from the wastewater generated by the kitchen. It is usually located inside the building and needs to be cleaned frequently. 
On the other hand, a grease interceptor is a larger underground vault that is located outside the building and is designed to intercept and trap FOGS from the wastewater before it enters the municipal sewer system. Grease interceptors have a larger capacity and are typically required for larger commercial kitchens that produce a higher volume of wastewater with higher concentrations of FOGS. Grease interceptors are typically cleaned on a periodic basis, often quarterly or semi-annually, depending on the local regulations and the size of the interceptor.
A failure notice is a notification given to the property owner or operator of a commercial kitchen or establishment that their grease trap or interceptor has failed to properly capture and retain FOGG. The notice typically includes information about the level of failure and the required corrective actions to bring the device back into compliance with local regulations. It is typically the responsibility of the property owner or operator to ensure that their FOGG retention device is properly maintained and cleaned to prevent blockages and other issues in the local sewer system.
If you received a failure notice for your FOGG retention device even though you recently had it pumped, there are a few possible explanations: 
  1. Timing: The inspection may have occurred shortly before the last pumping. If you believe this to be the case, please schedule with the inspector using this link to confirm the results. 
  2. Inadequate pumping: Your FOGG retention device may not have been pumped adequately during the last service, and some grease may have been left behind in the device. It is important to make sure that the pumper you hire is experienced and certified to clean and pump your specific type of FOGG retention device. 
  3. Mechanical issue: Your FOGG retention device may have a mechanical issue, such as a clogged inlet or outlet pipe, which can prevent the device from working properly even after pumping. In this case, you should contact a licensed plumber to inspect and repair the device. 
It is important to address any failure notices promptly, as repeated failures can lead to sewer backups and fines. 
You should keep track of the maintenance schedule for your grease interceptor, as regular cleanings are necessary to ensure that it is working effectively. Your pumper should provide you with documentation of the cleaning and maintenance they perform, including the date and time of the service, the volume of material removed, and any other observations or recommendations. 
Yellow grease and FOGG (fats, oils, grease, and grit) are both byproducts of food preparation, but there are some differences between them. 
Yellow grease is a recycled cooking oil that has been used for frying or cooking food and then collected for reuse. It is often used in animal feed, biodiesel production, or as an industrial lubricant. Yellow grease is typically liquid at room temperature and has a yellow color. 
FOGG, on the other hand, includes not only fats and oils from food preparation, but also grease and grit that accumulate in wastewater. Grease can come from meat, cheese, sauces, and other food items, while grit can include particles such as sand, dirt, and coffee grounds. When FOGG enters the sewer system, it can cause blockages, backups, and other problems. Most typically, this enters your retention device through floor drains, mop sinks, and three compartment sinks. 
In short, yellow grease is a specific type of oil used in food preparation, while FOGG refers to a broader range of substances that can cause issues in wastewater management if not properly disposed of. 
The location of a grease interceptor can vary depending on the specific building and plumbing layout. Generally, a grease interceptor is located outside of a building, underground, and near the kitchen or food preparation area. The exact location can vary based on local codes and regulations. The City of Westminster does not allow the use of internal grease interceptors unless prior approval is obtained. 
If you are unsure if your building has a grease interceptor and where it might be located, you can contact your local public works.  
It is common for local codes and regulations to require the installation of external grease interceptors for commercial kitchens, as it is easier to maintain and monitor their effectiveness. Internal grease interceptors, such as hydro-mechanical grease interceptors (HGI), are sometimes allowed but require prior approval from the local government. If you are unsure about the type and location of your grease interceptor, you should contact the City of Westminster's Wastewater Division for further information. 
It's possible that an odor issue could be related to a grease interceptor. Grease interceptors can produce unpleasant odors if they are not properly maintained or if they are damaged. Some common causes of odor issues with grease interceptors include: 
  • Buildup of FOGG (fats, oils, grease, and food solids) in the interceptor, which can lead to decomposition and foul odors. 
  • Blockages in the interceptor or the sewer line leading to the interceptor, which can cause backups and odors. 
  • Cracks or damage to the interceptor, which can allow odors to escape. 
If you are experiencing odor issues and suspect that your grease interceptor may be the cause, it's important to have it inspected and serviced by a professional. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your grease interceptor can help prevent odor issues and keep your wastewater system functioning properly.  
The pumping schedule for grease interceptors or internal grease interceptors can vary depending on the size of the unit and the amount of grease waste produced by the business. However, as a general guideline, grease interceptors should be cleaned out when the grease and solids level reaches 25% of the total liquid volume. This typically means that they need to be cleaned every 1-3 months. Internal grease interceptors typically need to be cleaned weekly or monthly, based on the sizing and specific needs of each business. It's important for businesses to work with a qualified grease service provider to establish a regular maintenance schedule for their FOGG retention device. 
Best Management Practices (BMPs) for a FOGG (Fats, Oils, Grit and Grease) program are guidelines and practices that help businesses effectively manage and prevent the accumulation of FOGG in their wastewater systems. Here are some common BMPs for a FOGG program: 
  1. Employee Training: Provide comprehensive training for all employees on the proper handling and disposal of FOGG. Educate them about the impacts of FOGG on the wastewater system and the importance of following program requirements. 
  2. Proper Grease Disposal: Establish clear procedures for the disposal of FOGG waste generated during food preparation and cleaning processes. Use designated containers or receptacles to collect and store FOGG waste for proper disposal, such as recycling or rendering services. 
  3. Grease Interceptors: Install and maintain properly sized and functioning grease traps or interceptors in accordance with local regulations. Regularly clean and maintain these devices to ensure efficient FOGG removal and prevent blockages or overflows. 
  4. Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections of grease traps/interceptors to ensure they are in good working condition. Inspect for any signs of damage, blockages, or excessive buildup of FOGG, and address issues promptly. 
  5. Monitoring and Recordkeeping: Keep detailed records of grease interceptor maintenance, cleaning schedules, and inspections. This helps demonstrate compliance with program requirements and allows for effective monitoring of FOGG management practices. 
  6. Proper Plumbing Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain plumbing systems, including drain lines, to prevent FOGG buildup. Address any plumbing issues or leaks promptly to prevent FOGG from entering the wastewater system. 
  7. Grease Recycling Programs: Explore options for recycling or reusing collected FOGG or yellow grease, such as partnering with local rendering companies or biodiesel producers. Properly disposing of FOGG waste reduces its environmental impact. 

Helpful links



If you have questions about Wastewater Collections or need to report an issue, please call (303) 658-2500. You can also submit a service request through Access Westminster