Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG) Program

Sanitary sewer lines are a lot like our own arteries. Fats, oils and grease (FOG) from cooking oil, salad dressings, and other foods can accumulate in sewer lines over time and restrict their capacity — leading to clogs and backups. 

It can be easy to just wash out your pan and whatever grease is left on it right after cooking, but you could be doing real damage to your pipes and the public sewer system when you do. If you have leftover fat, don't dump it down the drain. Let it solidify and throw it in the trash. Soak up what's left in the pan with a paper towel. The less grease you let go down the drain, the better.

Food Establishments


Food establishments can be significant sources of FOG if cooking oil and residual food grease from dishes are improperly disposed of in drains. In Dubuque, over eight miles of sewer lines, less than 3% of the City’s total sanitary sewer length, need to be cleaned on a regular basis due to FOG.

Since 2010, those lines have been cleaned a combined total of 3,910 times in order to prevent overflows, compared to once every five to six years for traditional maintenance. A major component of the City’s FOG program involves mandatory inspections of all food establishments and their grease control device(s).

For more information, please see the FOG program information, helpful documents, and contact information below.

Click here for a plumbing permit application for the installation of a grease interceptor.
  1. Program Information
  2. Helpful Documents
  3. Contact Information