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Posted on: January 28, 2020

Cool it, can it, chuck it!

elephant

You wouldn’t put an elephant down your drain because it would get stuck and make your sewer backup. For the same reason, you shouldn’t put fat, oils, grease, or rags down your sink or toilet.

These items are THE main causes of sewer line blockages that lead to sanitary sewer overflows and backups for residents and businesses. 

Fats, oils, grease, and rags harden, get stuck and cause the sewer lines to back up. Grease and debris also clog and overload the water reclamation system. Processing grease and food contaminants raise the costs of treating wastewater, and debris can cause clogged pumps and sewer lines.

Residents, restaurants, and retirement homes sometimes pour oil down their drains while cooking or flush their “rags.”  Rags are cleaning wipes (including the ones that marketed as “flushable”); other heavy papers, like paper towels or cotton products that when they are flushed, do damage to the City’s sewer pumps. They don’t break down in our sewer pipes, and they can block the entire sewer line system. 


When there is a sewer blockage, it causes unsanitary conditions and leads to surface water pollution. Blocked sewer lines cause sewer backups and do major damage to homes when they occur.  When the sewer lines are clogged, the wastewater finds the path of least resistance and can come out into a sink or a bathtub, creating unsanitary conditions in the home.

Sewer obstructions also clog the pump stations that carry wastewater to the City’s Water Reclamation Plant. When wastewater comes out of the pump station or a manhole, it gets into our rivers, streams, and ponds. This causes illnesses in people, animals, and harms plant life.

What you need to know. Residents should know that sewer blockages are preventable.  1. Remember, toilet paper is the only thing you should flush.  2. Throwing wipes, cotton materials, and paper towels in the trash instead of flushing them will save you on a costly repair bill and also help keep our City clean. 3. Recycle vegetable oils at our local MET Recycle Center at 302 N. Elm Pl. 4. Throw cooking scraps in the trash can, including bacon grease and meat drippings. And, 5. We recommend avoiding the garbage disposal when it comes to getting rid of grease and food products.  

With a few small habit changes, we can work together for a cleaner community. And remember, cool it, can it, chuck it!

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