FOG Program

Sewer spills are a public health threat and can lead to beach closures if the sewage discharges to the storm drain system. In addition to environmental degradation, sewage spills and backups can result in County Health code violations that can lead to the closure of your business operations.


To eliminate FOG related sewer spills and backups, the City has adopted an aggressive maintenance program to frequently inspect and clean the City's sewer lines. However, the City has determined that the most effective way to minimize FOG accumulation in sewers is to prevent the introduction of FOG into the sewer system in the first place. To realize this goal, the City has developed a FOG Control Program that regulates restaurants and other food service establishments (FSEs) that produce FOG and provides them with a mechanism to help control and minimize the introduction of FOG into City sewers.

The City of Huntington Beach FOG Control Program uses a three-pronged approach of Public Outreach and Education, Food Service Establishment (FSE) F.O.G. Control Program, and Enhanced Sewer Maintenance and Cleaning. See below for more information on these topics.
How does FOG affect me?
The process of cooking usually produces some amount of fats, oils, and grease. After a meal is made, a common practice is to wash greasy pots and pans in the sink, or put them in the dish washer. This is the source of a major problem, which can cost you time, money, and even your health.

When these items are washed, fats, oils, and grease flow down the drains and into the sewer lines. Cool water in the sewer line causes the greasy liquids to solidify and stick to the walls of the pipeline. Over a long period of time, much like an artery in your body, these sewer pipes begin to clog from layers of solidified grease.

The grease in your pipe can trap other particles, such as food. This process eventually leads to sewer backups, which are costly to fix and hazardous to your health.
How can I prevent this?
  • Throw leftover food from plates in the trash, instead of down the sink and into the garbage disposal unit
  • Wipe pots, pans, and other greasy kitchenware with disposable paper towels before washing in the sink
  • Avoid putting greasy towels in a washing machine or sink. Use disposable towels to wipe up grease spills
  • Use drain screens to prevent debris from entering the drain and causing clogs
  • Use dry absorbents, such as kitty litter and or paper towels, to clean up oils and grease
  • Consider using a can to collect grease. Use a plastic liner within the can and dispose of bag when full. Dispose with other absorbent materials.
What can I do in the event of a sewer system overflow?

  • Stop all activities, especially food preparation, and contain the spill immediately
  • Prevent the overflow from entering gutters, sidewalks, roadways, and especially storm drains
  • Contact the Orange County 24-Hour Water Pollution Hotline at (714) 567-6363 in the event of an SSO that leaves your property
  • Report all SSOs to the Huntington Beach Utilities Division at (714) 536-5921
Related Links
The Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Program (English)

The Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Program (Spanish)