Saturday, July 4

Public Works

Environmental | Sewers
FOG (Fats, Oils & Grease Control Program)

Designed to reduce the number of sewer pipe blockages and related overflows by teaching people how to properly dispose of FOG. Proper disposal of fats, oils and grease is important because FOG in the sewer system can build up and eventually block collection pipes and sewer lines, resulting in backups and overflows on streets, properties and even in the home. Sewer overflows are not only unsanitary and bad for the environment; they are also costly to Upland and its customers. In the end, the expensive cleanup and repairs associated with improper disposal of FOG can lead to increased sewer rates for customers.

When businesses disregard sewer regulations and improperly dispose of fat, oil and grease to sinks and drains, sewer lines can become clogged causing sewage to backup into basements of homes and businesses. The picture on the above is a sewer clean-out outside of a City of Upland restaurant. The sewer line has been completely filled with grease.

To work effectively, sewer systems need to be properly maintained from the drain to the treatment plant. Grease is an example of a waste that the sewer system cannot handle, and therefore should not be put down drains. The City needs businesses and individuals to do their part in maintaining the system. Repeated repairs and maintenance deplete City resources, and are disruptive to residences and businesses. Furthermore, the City of Upland Municipal Code requires proper disposal of grease by commercial establishments.

Some grease does make it through the sewer system and into the Wastewater Treatment Plant. It can form grease balls in basins or clog pipes and machinery. The grease balls in these pictures are about the size of cantaloupes and must be removed periodically. This waste cannot be treated at the treatment plants. Grease is a very expensive problem for the City in respect to both time and money.

Our FOG Program was created to inform restaurant owners about the impact their waste has on the sewer system and Treatment Plant. Restaurants are required by the Municipal Code to install interceptors and maintain them properly. Additionally, Best Management Practices should be employed to reduce the amount of grease entering the sewer.


The Upland Municipal Code Section 5860.5 requires all commercial establishments engaged in the preparation and sale of food, have commercial garbage grinders or produce amounts of grease that have the potential to cause partial or full blockage of the sewer to install and maintain an adequately sized grease interceptor. Examples of businesses in this category are (but not limited to): restaurants, fast food restaurants, cafes, lunch counters, bars, coffee shops, kitchens in hotels, bakeries, dairies, ice cream shops, slaughterhouses, grocery stores with delis and any business that has a cafeteria (hospitals, country clubs, industries, etc.). Failure to install an interceptor is a noncompliance of the Upland Municipal Code and therefore, unlawful.

Contact the City's Building Division to obtain permits at (909) 931-4110. The Municipal Code requires that installation and design conform to the Uniform Plumbing Code 2000. This manual describes how to size grease traps. For grease interceptors, this manual requires that the manufacturer's criteria be used. The City does not provide design or sizing consultation. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the interceptor is adequately sized and correctly installed.

It is recommended that the San Bernardino County Health Department be contacted for information on other requirements.


The Upland Municipal Code (Section 5860.5.) requires that the interceptor be inspected and maintained regularly. Another requirement is that the maintenance must be documented.

All establishments with grease interceptors should use Best Management Practices to reduce the amount of grease entering the sewer. Failure to inspect and maintain your interceptor is a violation of the Code. The City suggests maintenance be performed when the interceptor is about 25% full of grease and solids. Cleaning out more often will not increase the efficiency of the interceptor, but will result in higher costs. Cleaning out less often will reduce the efficiency of the interceptor and may produce odor problems or a corrosive environment that will shorten the life of the interceptor.

All maintenance is at owner’s expense and must be documented. Documentation for interceptors is the haulers manifests. For grease traps, keep a written log to show when maintenance is performed. During City inspections, your documentation will be reviewed. Lack of documentation is a violation of the Code.

Chemical/Biological Treatment-

The use of these products does not absolve dischargers from installation, inspection/cleaning or documentation required by the Code. Frequently, the Pretreatment Coordinator is approached by sellers of these products. The City does not give written permission to sell any product to City of Upland businesses. The City does not promote the use of these products. The City does not give advice on how to best sell any product to City of Upland customers.


Business listed in the brochures are provided for your convenience. Inclusion or omission of any business listed in brochures in no way implies endorsement or rejection by the City of Upland or the Non-domestic Wastewater Pretreatment Program. Any business servicing City of Upland grease interceptors (or fryer oil recycling) may call 909 291-2967 to be included in future printings.