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Cease The Grease

french fries in oil, butter, dairy products, sauces, and steak

Baltimore County’s Cease the Grease program was created to educate homeowners of the damage to personal and public property resulting from grease-related sewage overflows and basement backups and show how ease of use can help to avoid these health hazards. Door hangers (PDF) were placed at various homes throughout the county to advise residents of the program.

View the Cease The Grease logo.

Problems Caused by Fats, Oils and Grease

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) that are poured down a kitchen drain can accumulate and cause a blockage in sewers, which can result in sewage overflows and basement backups. Not only do these overflows and backups expose the public to disease-causing organisms, they are also expensive to clean up. Basement backups often must be paid for by the homeowner and overflows increase operation and maintenance costs, which results in higher sewer bills for all Baltimore County customers.


The 10 most common sources of FOG are:

  • Shortening
  • Cooking oil
  • Fat trimmings
  • Sauces
  • Margarine
  • Butter and lard
  • Baking goods
  • Dairy products
  • Meats
  • Food scraps

How a Sewer Gets Blocked With FOG

A blockage starts when grease and solids collect on the top and sides of the pipe interior. Over time, the grease and solids build up. Eventually, excessive accumulation will restrict the flow of wastewater and can result in an overflow or basement backup.

Picture of pipes clogged with FOG.
FOG residue buildup in pipes

How You Can Help

  • Never pour FOG into your sink or toilet. Rather, dispose of FOG into a small can, storing it in the freezer until it is full. Then, throw it into the trash.
  • When there is FOG residue in a pan or on a dish, wipe it with a paper towel before washing and throw the towel in the trash.
  • Place a strainer in the kitchen sink drain to catch food scraps and other solids. Then empty the strainer into the trash.
  • Learn more from frequently asked questions by residents and commercial property owners.

Contact Us

For questions or problems regarding FOG, please complete our online form, or call 410-887-1836.

Revised July 23, 2018         


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