Think Before you Pour and Flush
As soon as you notice slow-running drains you should stop using your home's drainage fixtures and investigate. If the problem is in your property’s sewer lines, call a plumber to clear the blockage before it gets bad enough to become a backup.
What NOT to pour down your sink:
- Grease: Dispose of grease and fats with your trash - not down the drain! When cooking with grease or oil, pour the used liquid into a can or canister for disposal. Once the hot grease has cooled, just toss it in the trash. Wipe additional grease from pots, pans, and plates with a paper towel before placing them in the sink or dishwasher. Grease in drains collects and hardens into a plug. Ordinary kitchen cooking grease can be a real terror in the pipes beneath your home and in our sanitary sewage system. Over time grease build-up clogs pipes reduces sewage flow and acts as a magnet for other debris. Eventually, this build-up can clog pipes enough to result in a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO). An SSO is the backup of raw sewage into the street, the environment or even into your home through your sinks, showers or toilets.
- Hair/Dental Floss: Hair and dental floss create habitats that collect grease and muck. Both hair and dental floss get tangled inside pipes, pumps, and other equipment and must be manually removed by District staff.
What not to flush down your toilets:
- Flushable Wipes/Baby Wipes/Towelettes: Disposable moist towelettes and wipes allow for the convenient cleanup of sticky messes and are very handy during diaper changes. Another common use is to sanitize germy surfaces. Some manufacturers of disposable wipes indicate on the product’s packaging that the wipes are biodegradable and flushable. Unfortunately wipes rarely biodegrade in the sanitary sewer system. Their presence in the system can cause clogs and equipment failure in lift stations where mechanical pumps facilitate the conveyance of sewage in many areas of the community. The proper disposal of these convenient and useful products will help keep our sewer system flowing properly; thereby ensuring the treatment can safely contain, convey, and treat the community’s wastewater.
- Prescription and Non Prescription Medications: Medications should never be flushed down the toilet, as they may contain chemicals that can damage the wastewater treatment facility and possibly end up in the environment. We recommend that you grind medicines up with cat litter or coffee grounds to make them unusable, and then throw them in the trash. There are disposal sites available; please consult with your local pharmacy or physician.
- A final tip in the health of your sewer lines: Plant trees or large shrubs away from sewer lines. Roots grow toward breaks and cracks in lines in search of a ready water source. If roots get inside the pipe, they form balls that clog the line.