Fats, Rags, Oils, and Grease (FROG) Program

Josh Bradley, Regulatory and Compliance Superintendent
bradleyj@brightoncity.org or 810-844-5112

The City of Brighton is excited to announce the launch of a new initiative designed to help mitigate the amount grease discharged into our sanitary sewer system. Fats, Rags, Oil, and Grease (FROG) creates hazardous and costly issues for residents, business owners, and city resources by generating blockages in sewer mains and leads.  

For Residents
How can you help from home?

  • Scrape left over food in the trash and avoid using a garbage disposal
  • DO NOT pour hot grease down the drain.  Let it cool and dispose of it in the trash
  • Make sure rinse water does not exceed 140° F
  • Clean up any spills with paper towels and dispose of them in the trash
  • Only flush toilet paper – Disposable Wipes, feminine hygiene products, and everything else does not belong in the sewer. 

Click here to see the City's FROG Informational Flier with additional helpful information.

For Businesses
The FROG program will consist of inspecting grease traps/grease interceptors, reviewing standard operating procedures, and ensuring best management practices (BMP) are being followed to prevent grease from entering sewers. 

You will be contacted by the City of Brighton to schedule the initial inspection of your equipment and BMP’s.  If an appointment is not scheduled, then, per ordinance, the City will visit your business at a time that is convenient for our staff.

The following links allow you to access helpful forms to use:

Storm drains prevent flooding by conveying rain water away from houses and roads and discharge to a stream or lake.  The wastewater transports pollutants causing detrimental effects to aquatic and plant life and the people using these waters for recreational purposes.  A blockage in a homeowner’s line can be damaging as well.  If a plug occurs due to FROG, the sewage leaving the home can back-up and overflow into basements or other areas of the house causing an unsafe environment for your family. This program was initiated to continue to provide the residents of Brighton a clean and safe environment to live, work, and play.  Prevention is key when addressing FROG and the most cost-effective way to manage its impacts. 

The City of Brighton’s goal is to eliminate these occurrences.  We are asking residents and business owners to stop flushing FROG products down toilets and sinks.  Sewers are designed to only convey toilet paper and wastewater.  Fats, rags, oils, and greases dumped down the drain enters the sewer as a liquid. After a few minutes, the grease cools and solidifies in pipes, grease starts accumulating and narrowing the hydraulic capacity of these pipe until a blockage occurs.  Overflows in homes can be very expensive and time consuming to remediate.  In some instances, insurance will not cover the full extent of the damage and the homeowners will be responsible for the remainder.  Overflows can put your family and pets at risk of being exposed to unsanitary conditions.  The best defense against a blockage is prevention.  The City of Brighton is looking forward to working with business owners and the residents in eliminating FROG from the sewer system.


In today’s world, the average consumer encounters endless possibilities of purchases every day.  The consumer uses different reasoning techniques to help decide in purchasing items based on affordability, quality, convenience, and so.  Companies excel in marketing products towards consumer’s desires.  Persuasive advertising techniques have controlled the bathroom hygiene market segment in recent years, as products sold as “flushable” have increased in popularity. Everything from disposable baby wipes to flushable toilet brush wands has been sold with the assumption that these products are biodegradable and harmless. No matter if your residence is connected to a septic tank or a municipal sewer collection system, which conveys waste to a wastewater treatment plant, these “flushable” products can cause havoc on home sewer leads or municipal collection system infrastructure.

The only material that should be flushed is regular ply toilet paper.  Toilet paper is designed to break down rapidly and dissolve into almost nothing.  Material which should not be flushed, but not limited to this list goes as follow: baby wipes, flushable wipes, flushable diapers, feminine hygiene products, contraceptives, cotton balls, cigarette butts, paper towel, flushable toilet wands, Q-Tips, dental floss, and all fats, rags, oils, and grease (FROGS). 

The problems that arise from these products are wide spread.  For homeowners, these products have a greater possibility to get trapped in lateral leads leaving homes.  Over time, these flushable goods will accumulate in the pipe until a plug has occurred in the line, causing an unsanitary environment of raw sewage backup into households.  The cost to sanitize a household because of a sewer backup can be thousands of dollars, and if not properly insured, the homeowner will be responsible for the entire amount. 

A similar scenario can occur for a municipal sanitary sewer collection system by using flushable products.  They accumulate in certain areas of the sewer until a plug happens. The back-up can affect many households until the issue is resolved.  Along with pipes, sanitary sewer systems have pumps to elevate sewage to higher elevation, and then allow gravity to convey the sewage to wastewater plants.  Flushable wipes frequently plug pumps, increasing the probability of sewer backups.  As pumps are plugging, more energy is needed to operate the pumps, increasing total electrical usage.  Once the pump is plugged completely, city sewer operators are required to remove the debris.  Higher energy cost and labor means more cost for residents.  To maintain lower sewer rate cost, remember to only flush toilet paper and disregard flushable wipes properly in trash receptacles.

Once flushable products reach your local wastewater treatment plant, these products diminish the water quality discharged from the plant.  Flushable wipes plug pumps and affect the WWTP processes leading to an interference with the natural biological breakdown of waste. These materials can decrease the effectiveness of ammonia and phosphorous elimination, deplete dissolved oxygen content exiting the plant, and increases the possibility of degrading the receiving waters (rivers, lakes, streams) in the area by killing fish and making the water downstream unsafe for recreational functions.

So remember, just because a product states it is safe to flush, be aware of the damage these products can cause on sewer systems and the quality of the receiving waters. Shop smart and remember the only safe product to flush is toilet paper. 

Protect Brighton’s Watershed - Do Not Pour Grease in Drains