Pretreatment & Fats, Oil & Greases (FOG) Program

What is Pretreatment?

Pretreatment is about setting up and taking care of traps and interceptors before wastewater goes into treatment. These tools help take out harmful stuff from the water, like extra fats or oils from restaurants, or grit and oils from places like gas stations and car washes. It's important to do this so that the wastewater system doesn't get damaged and can work properly.

What is the Town's Pretreatment Program?

The Town of Cave Creek ("Town") owns and operates a water reclamation facility ("Water Ranch") which converts wastewater to Class A+ reclaimed water. The treatment facility is designed to reduce the quantities of organic materials and solids in the wastewater, making it suitable for reuse.

Wastewater is collected via a network of sewer pipes, as part of the Town's sewer collection system. The collection system comprises of pipelines, manholes, pumping stations, force mains, and other private and public structures and devices that collect and transport sewer from residential and commercial buildings to the Town's water reclamation facility.

The Town's Water Ranch is vulnerable to toxic or harmful pollutants from commercial and residential users.

The objectives of the Town's Pretreatment Program are to:

  • Protect the environment, by facilitating the control of pollutant discharges into the collection system
  • Reduce and eliminate entry of Fats, Oils, and Greases into the collection system
  • Resolve collection system blockages and capacity reduction issues to reduce odor and service interruptions
  • Protect the treatment facility from upsets by maintain high effluent and biosolids quality
  • Educate users on the Do's and Don'ts

What is FOG?

FOG stands for Fats, Oils, and Grease, and they can really mess up the Wastewater System. When you pour FOG down the drain, it can clog up the sewers and cause big problems, like sewage backing up into your home or business. This isn't just gross—it's also unhealthy and can damage your property and the environment.

One big reason for these problems is grease blocking sewer pipes. Grease often gets washed into the plumbing system, especially from the kitchen sink. Over time, the grease builds up and can completely block the pipes. Even garbage disposals can't stop grease from causing trouble. And those special additives or detergents that claim to dissolve grease? They might just push the grease further down the line, causing backups in your home, in the city sewer system, or in nature.

But some businesses use grease traps or interceptors to keep grease out of the city sewer system. These traps need to be the right size and properly maintained to work well. That means they have to be cleaned out regularly, sometimes every day, to keep things running smoothly.

What Not to Flush

The wastewater collection system is only designed to handle a few basic things: water, human waste, and toilet paper. Flushing anything else can mean big problems for private sewer pipes and the public system.

  • Baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, and so-called "flushable" wipes
  • Diapers
  • Facial tissues
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Sanitary napkins and tampons
  • Condoms
  • Toilet bowl scrub pads or "Swiffer" type pads
  • Wash cloths, towels, rags, clothing, or any cloth items
  • Dental floss
  • Sheet plastic or plastic of any kind
  • Eggs shells, nutshells, coffee grounds, or any food items
  • Fats, oils, or grease
  • Hair

For more information on compliance with the Town's pretreatment program, refer to the pretreatment tabs below.

For questions email Pretreatment or phone 480-488-6619.