Volusia Septic Services Dixie Septic Tank Replacement Pump Out Drain Field FAQs
Fat, Oil and Grease

In this section we thought it important to discuss items that are detrimental to septic systems. We would like to talk a little about Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) specifically.

This information comes from a report by Jorean Washington, R.E.H.P.
From the winter 2006 issue of the Florida Journal of Environmental Health.

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) remain an ongoing and current issue of concern with
septic tank users. FOG increases the Biochemical Oxygen Demands (BOD’s) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS’s) in the wastewater stream. There are definite environmental and economical impacts that should be considered.

In 1983 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated that sewer use ordinances be put in place. The purpose was to minimize the introduction of fat soluble wastes, including petroleum-based hydrocarbons, into wastewater treatment streams.

Since public wastewater treatment centers were mandated to comply, maybe it is
important that you as an owner of a septic system also consider what they have to say about FOG’s.

Septic system clogged from fat, oil and grease

Some of the sources of FOG include:
Meat fats including beef, chicken, and pork
Lard shortening
Butter and margarine
Cooking oil, and salad oil
Food scrapes put down garbage disposals
Sauces and gravy
Salad dressing, and mayonnaise
Dairy products milk, yogurt, and ice cream.

What is the effect of (FOG) in drain fields?

The most serious problem that plagues these systems is the carry-over of the
fats, oils, and grease into the chambers, piping, and sand.

This is usually the result of poor design and improper maintenance. When carry- over occurs, these materials tend to cling to the interior of piping or infiltrative surface. (Biomat) of a drainfield or alternative treatment system (e.g., infiltrator, corrugated pipe or sand filter), This reduces the capacity of the system, and forms scum where the liquid cannot penetrate.

FOG’s are particularly dangerous or destructive because they are slow to Biodegrade especially in septic tank systems. This is because the enzymes that breaks FOG down are less active in lower temperatures that are found in septic tanks and drainfield soil. Hence FOG tends to simply accumulate in the soil.

The drainfield of a well-designed and maintained system can handle small amounts of FOG, such as natural body oils carried over from shower water.

However, many alternative treatment systems cannot accommodate significant concentrations of FOG.

Cooking oil and grease should never be poured down the drain. Also commercially available additives that claim to reduce oils and grease should not be used. Their use only increases the likelihood that these materials will be carried over to the drainfield or discharge piping.

Carry-over oils and grease as noted above, clog the Biomat and/or the piping, thus
decreasing absorption capabilities of drainfields. This will lead to failure of the system.
The presence and use of harsh cleaners and other chemicals potentially will harm
the bacteria that breaks down the matter in the septic tank. Regular schedule pumping of the septic tank is one of the most essential elements of system maintenance.

The final word: Avoid putting Fats, Oils, and Grease into your septic system.

Septic System FAQs

We are pleased to offer a few articles we have written over the past several years. We hope they might offer tips and answers to questions or issues you may have in regards to septic tanks, septic systems and drain fields. Please contact us directly with specific questions for a personal consultation.

Septic System FAQs
Smart Septic Systems
Going Green
Aggregate Rock System
Equal Distribution™
Pre-Contract Checklist
Septic Systems 101
Septic System Maintenance
Bio-Mat 101
Flushing Medication
Facts and Folklore
Pipe and Rock System
Septic Tank Installation
What is OSTDS?
Fat, Oil and Grease
Septic Industry Problems?
Sewer or Septic System?
Time to Take the Gloves Off!
Failing Septic Systems
Eye Opening Definitions
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Dixie Septic Tank, Inc.

335 N. Boundary Avenue
Deland, Florida 32720

Phone: (386) 738-3030
Fax: (386) 740-7666
Lic# SRO991327
Contact Dixie Septic Tank

Home Page Failing Septic Systems Septic System Maintenance What is OSTDS?
Septic Services Going Green Bio-Mat 101 Fat, Oil and Grease
Smart Septic Systems Aggregate Rock System Flushing Medication Septic Industry Problems?
Concrete Septic Tanks Equal Distribution™ Facts and Folklore Sewer or Septic System?
Septic System FAQs Pre-Contract Checklist Pipe and Rock System Time to Take the Gloves Off!
Contact Us Septic Systems 101 Septic Tank Installation Failing Septic Systems
Septic Tank Cleaning Eye Opening Definitions
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