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Fats, Oils & Grease
The Issue
The fats, oils, and grease that remain after cooking should never be washed down the drain, not even with hot water and soap. Oil and grease can build up in sanitary sewer lines and cause blockages leading to sewer backups and overflows that endanger public health and the environment. In addition, clearing grease blockages within your home can be very costly.

What You Can Do
Take fats, oil, and grease “From the Pan to the Can!” Let grease cool down and solidify after cooking, then transfer to a container, such as a soup or pet food can. Cover the can, store it, and when it is full (up to a quart) dispose of it directly into the trash. More than one quart must be disposed of through the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program.

If you have a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO), please contact the Department of Transportation at (408) 794-1900 at any time. Our normal business hours are 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. An emergency dispatcher is available outside our normal business hours.

A new public art initiative aims to increase awareness of our city's sewer system, the people who maintain it, and its direct impact on the health of San José and the San Francisco Bay (Bay). Be on the lookout for these three electric green elements highlighting your infrastructure at work:

Bold graphics on new City sewer maintenance trucks call attention to the important work being done on and beneath our streets.

City VAC truck


Colorful marking of manhole covers indicating recently cleaned sewer lines as part of "High Priority Cleanings (HPC)" of the sewers.

City staff cleaning a manhole


Educational door hangers will be left in neighborhoods surrounding a recent HPC. The artists, with the help of the community, have created a mini-artwork that tells the story of #FOGWASTE, the sewers, and a healthy environment.

Educational sewer overflow door hangers



The art initiative will start in the neighbohoods near Washington School (Council District 3) and Santee School (Council District 7). Before the end of September 2015, expect to see the truck graphics, electric green manhole covers, and door hangers. The project is scheduled to run through early 2016 in these two neighborhoods.

See a truck or an electric green manhole? Clean-out happening or received an information door hanger? Snap a picture and share it on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) with #FOGWASTE and let us know what you think.