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Water-Related News

Sarasota County to implement new FOG ordinance in effort to stem sanitary sewage spills

Commissioners unanimously approved of a new fats, oils and grease management program ordinance Tuesday morning aimed at reducing sewage spills.

“Sewer mains are similar to arteries,” said Mike Mylett, the interim director of Sarasota County Public Utilities. “You have to watch your diet and reduce your lipids because it clogs your arteries. That’s the same thing that’s happening with FOG in our system — It congeals around our collection system and reduces the volume that can move through the system.”

According to Mylett, Sarasota County is one of the last governmental bodies in the region to adopt a “FOG ordinance.” Surrounding counties — such as Hillsborough, Manatee, Charlotte and more — have already adopted countywide ordinances or implemented tighter regulations.

According to county documents, "grease disposed of by restaurants, homes and industrial sources to the sanitary sewer system" cause 47% of reported blockages that contribute to sanitary sewage overflow.