Fats, Oil and Greases


FOG: How do fats, oils and greases impact your drains and sewer line and the City’s sewer system?

FOGs are fats, oils and greases that can build up in your drains and cause sewer backups. If do have a backup because of this, it can cost thousands of dollars to repair. The buildup of fats, oils and greases put into the drains from homes and businesses can also cause the City’s sewer collection pipe to backup. The good news is that this is preventable. Below are some of the steps you may take, provided by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD).

  •  DO NOT pour liquid fats, oils or grease into sink drains or toilets. This includes dairy fats, cosmetic oils and any other type of grease.
  • DO NOT flush wipes, wrappers, cat litter, medicine and other garbage in toilets. Just because it says it is disposable does not make it flushable.
  • Collect excess fats and oils in a sealed container and recycle appropriately.
  • Scrape food scraps from dirty dishes and pans into the trash before washing.
  • Use a paper towel or scraper to remove residual grease from dishes and pans prior to washing.
  • Your garbage disposal does not eliminate grease. Keep drains clean by using vinegar and warm water or appropriate commercial products to dissolve grease.

Who is responsible? The property owner is responsible for the condition of all the drains in the home or business, and the sewer line that is from the house or building all the way to where it connects to the City’s sewer collection pipe.


Sewer Line Responsibility


If you have a clogged drain in your home or business or sewer backup, contact a licensed plumber. If the backup persists, contact DWSD at 313-267-8000.