Case Study: City Choked with FOG Trials Helix.

A major west coast city operates and maintains various wastewater collection systems in and near the city. Like most municipalities, the city has experienced many SSOs (Sanitary Sewer Overflow) due to a variety of causes, primarily grease (FOG) blockage of sewer pipelines and roots. Between 1995-1999, approximately 30% of the SSOs were due to FOG blockages, second only to root intrusions. In seeking a method to maintain the many miles of sewer main, the city contracted with a major engineering firm to evaluate potential suppliers of Sewer Grease Control Products (SGCPs).


Evaluation of products conducted in 2 phases. Phase 1 included review of literature, selection of methodology of products, and bench testing of products. 3 SGCPs were short listed for Phase 2 testing. Phase 2 focused on field testing of selected SGCPs during 2004-2005. Primary purpose of field trials was to determine real life effectiveness of SGCPs in maintaining sewer pipelines free of FOG. Engineering firm used a methodology utilizing CCTV at test sites based on quantitative and qualitative factors to ensure objective scoring of all products.

Scoring system is as below. Highest possible score of 9 total points.

  1. FOG coverage score (maximum 3 points)
  2. Bonus score (maximum 3 points)
  3. Visual inspection score (maximum 3 points)

Maximum total of 9 points. (A score of 5 points is considered proof of satisfactory product performance.)

Test Scores

  • Competitor A: 5.9
  • Competitor B: 4.8
  • Helix HL-5000: 7.7

With a total score of 7.7, Helix HL-5000 was the only product that received Bonus Points. HL-5000 was the only product in the test that not only prevented any further FOG buildup, but also got rid of the grease (FOG) that was there to begin with.

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5105 N.W. Beaver Drive
Johnston, IA 50131
Phone: (515) 276-3352
Toll-Free: (800) REFUSE-1 (733-8731)
Fax: (515) 276-2976
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