FOG Prevention Training for Rural Communities

See Also: Western States Alliance

The Motivation


Fats, Oils, and Grease (aka FOG) can wreak havoc on wastewater infrastructure. FOG causes sewer clogs, overflows, and backups in public and private sewer lines. And it causes breakdowns in wastewater treatment facilities.

We all pay the cost for wastewater failures. Taxpayers, utilities, and businesses pay for infrastructure upkeep and repair. This cost can be significant to cities and devastating to small towns. For example, a wastewater facility in Canby, Oregon (population 15,000), recently calculated that excess FOG costs the district and ratepayers about $4 million annually. In addition to paying infrastructure costs, we all suffer the public health costs that come from sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).

The most effective way to deal with FOG problems, in terms of economic and environmental cost, is to prevent them before they take their destructive shapes.

The Project: FOG Prevention Training for Rural Communities

2019 USDA FOG Abatement Training’s

PPRC and the Western States Alliance is providing technical training in FOG abatement to rural communities across 8 different states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Colorado.

The training will focus on two areas:

1) How to develop an effective FOG Abatement Program

2) How to implement best practices in both a new and an existing program

The trainings will be conducted in a workshop format for small, rural communities that either do not have a pretreatment program, or find their current program inadequate to meet their needs.

 Training will includes such areas as:

  • Reasons for developing a FOG program and legal authority to do so.
  • Involving stakeholders and communication planning.
  • What is FOG, including its sources and impacts.
  • How effective management protects public/community health.
  • How effective management makes programs more cost-effective.
  • What is out there in the way of FOG abatement products, services and programs.

Participants will receive 0.8 Wastewater CEUs and a certificate of completion for attending.

PPRC has received grant funding from the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to provide technical training and assistance to small, rural communities in FOG abatement.

Our next training’s will be held in Idaho; we will be at Boise State University on February 26th, Idaho State University on February 27th and finishing up at the Sacajawea Interpretive Center on February 28th.

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In 2014, PPRC provided technical assistance training workshops for rural communities throughout the Northwest to reduce the harmful impacts of FOG. These one-day workshops helped communities to:

  • Develop a FOG abatement program
  • Learn more about Best Management Practices in dealing with FOG
  • Access useful FOG-prevention resources and receive ongoing technical support

Workshops served rural centers throughout the Northwest:

  • Oregon: La Grande, The Dalles, Medford, Lincoln City
  • Washington: Wenatchee, Burlington, Spokane
  • Idaho: Idaho Falls, Caldwell, Lewiston
  • Alaska: Anchorage, Fairbanks

Additional Resources

Check out the Western States Alliance FOG Prevention Training website. Whether you’re a pumper, plumber, restaurant manager, or inspector, you’re sure to find useful resources about state sewer codes, preferred pumper programs, and best management guides.



The resources to carry out this training project were generously provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.