Department of Watershed Management Increases FOG Enforcement Efforts

DECATUR, Ga. – In an intensified effort to eliminate fats, oils and grease (FOG) from the sewer system, the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management (DWM) FOG compliance team reports 551 citations issued with 34 convictions from July to October 2016.  This compares to 294 citations with zero convictions for this same time period last year.

“As the focus increases on our SSO reporting under the consent decree, this FOG compliance team is critical,” said Scott Towler, director of DeKalb Watershed Management. “Their commitment to improving our program and protecting county residents is exactly what is needed to improve our sewer system, maximize our capacity and ensure the safety of the general public.”

Under the leadership of FOG Supervisor Bernard Bethea over the past five months, the FOG compliance group has increased inspections on areas identified for repeat spills. These inspections have uncovered unpermitted sites, sites failing to maintain required equipment and a multitude of other violations.

Ultimately, the FOG compliance group is forcing non-compliant businesses to answer for their failure to follow the requirements of DeKalb County while protecting the residents from future sewer spills.
The FOG compliance team is responsible for making sure food service establishments are properly maintaining their grease traps and disposing of FOG the right way.  With the majority of the sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) being traced back to FOG, this team addresses a multi-million dollar cost issue for the county.  

“FOG is a problem because it clogs our sewer system,” said Bethea. “Our proactive efforts to keep it out of the county’s pipes helps ensure the highest sewer capacity. We invite county residents and business owners to partner with us to protect the health of our wastewater collection system.”
Additional information about the FOG Program and tips on proper FOG disposal can be found on the DWM website at