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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Sep 27

What is FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease) and Why Do We Care?

Posted on September 27, 2016 at 8:27 AM by Communications Department

The fats, oils, and grease (FOG) in our kitchens can be harmful to our sanitary sewer system and the environment when not disposed of properly. The Newport News Public Works Department and want residents to know what to do and what not to do when it comes to FOG.
Byproducts like FOG come from many food sources including meats, nuts, plant/vegetable oils, dairy products, soups, gravies, condiments, sauces, pastas, poultry, etc. These byproducts cool immediately when poured down the drain and stick to and solidify on the insides of sewer pipes. FOG is insoluble in water so despite the use of hot water, detergent, or additives, it eventually builds up to create blockages. These blockages then lead to sanitary sewer overflows that are detrimental to the environment and to public health.

Residents can help keep oil out of their drains at home and out of the sewer system by pouring used grease into a heat safe container, placing it in the freezer to solidify, then tossing it in the trash. Alternatively, used grease can be poured back into the container it came in and taken it to the city’s Recovery Operations Center for disposal. The Center is located at 550 Atkinson Way and is open Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM. Residents can also help by wiping down greasy pots, pans, dishes, and utensils with disposable towels before washing and by throwing food scraps in the trash rather than using the garbage disposal.

For more information on how to prevent harmful substances from being discarded into the sanitary sewer system visit or read the City of Newport News Sewer Ordinance.