Fats, Oil, & Grease (FOG)

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San Clemente's 24 Hour Pollution Reporting Hotline is (949) 366-1553

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)

The City of San Clemente owns and maintains the public sanitary sewer system serving the community. Under new statewide general waste discharge requirements, the City is mandated to institute a comprehensive FOG control program.  FOG that enters the sewer system from kitchen sinks and drains eventually hardens and coats the inside of sewer pipes. 

Over a short period of time FOG residues build up in the sewer pipes and begin to restrict flows until the FOG build-up completely blocks the normal flow of sewage.  The blockage causes the flow of sewage to exit from the sanitary sewer system at the nearest outlet that is most commonly a manhole, clean-out, or broken pipe, and flow into the storm drainage system.  As a coastal community it takes very little time for a sewage spill to enter our ocean waters.  Sewer spills are public health hazards, they cause negative environmental impacts, they are costly to cleanup, and they are preventable.

Your help is needed to prevent sewer pipes from clogging by properly disposing of holiday Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG).

Dispose of Holiday Cooking Oil Properly_Final

During the holidays, the City of San Clemente asks that you do not place fats, cooking oil, and grease down the sink, drain or toilet.  These substances harden when they cool and coat the inside of sewer pipes. Clogged sewer pipes can cause sewage to overflow and reach the storm drain system which drains to local beaches. There are several ocean-friendly ways to properly dispose of FOG.

Large Amounts of Cooking Oil (Deep Fried Turkey)

If you have gallons of turkey-frying oils to dispose of, place the grease in a sealed, labeled container (don’t forget to save original containers during meal prep to make disposal easier later). You can drop off up to 5 gallons of cooking oil and grease at your local household hazardous waste collection center located at:

Prima Deshecha Landfill

32250 La Pata Avenue, San Juan Capistrano

Tuesday thru Saturday from 9am to 3pm.

Closed on rainy days and holidays.

For more information call (714) 834-6752 or visit

Small Amounts of Cooking Oil (Oven Roasted Turkey/Ham/Meat)

  1. Organics Recycling: Small amounts may be placed in your green waste cart if you can absorb the waste with paper towels or newspapers, or use a compostable bag to contain the grease. If you soak a greasy pan, place a paper towel over the drain basket to catch grease and food particles as you pour the water down the drain.  
  2. Reuse: You can store oil for later use. Oil can be kept for up to six months and reused for up to six hours of fry time. Strain the oil first, and then store in the freezer.
  3. Trash Bin: When the cooking oils have cooled, mix the cooking oils with unscented kitty litter, sawdust or sand to solidify the oil, or scrape oils into a sealed container and place in the freezer for several hours. The hardened oils can then be placed in your trash cart.

Grease Interceptor Installation Requirements for Food Facilities

For a new or existing food facility with ongoing major remodeling, or an existing food facility with a name change or change of ownership, a grease interceptor may be required.  For information on grease interceptor installation, please contact the City's contract Environmental Compliance Inspector Jon Kinley at (949) 481-8826 or

City of San Clemente Grease Interceptor Installation Requirements:

All food facilities that generate grease, or have kitchen equipment that has the potential to produce grease are required to install a grease control device.  A grease interceptor is the primary required device unless the City determines that it is impossible to install due to site restrictions, then other devices shall be required as an alternative.

Grease interceptors are required to be sized according to the latest California Plumbing Code (adopted by the City of San Clemente) at the time of plan check and approval.  Refer to Chapter 10 of the CPC.

Minimum size requirement for an exterior in the ground grease interceptor is 750 gallons.  

Exterior in the ground Grease Interceptors shall have the following:

  • Sample box
  • Sanitary Tee, inside sample box on outlet side
  • Vent to roof downstream of sample box per drawing
  • 2 way clean-outs prior to lateral connection
  • Manhole at each internal baffle, no more than 10ft between manholes
  • All grade rings shall be grouted/sealed
  • All lids shall be traffic rated

Inspection of Interceptors:

  • All connections to interceptor to be inspected by City Inspector prior to backfill
  • Interceptor shall be filled with water prior to backfill for leak detection.

Concrete Collars:

  • All concrete collars around all metal access lids shall be installed a minimum of 1 half inch above finish grade/pavement.
  • Collars to be a minimum of 18” wide and 12” deep.