Your Sewer

Tips to Prevent Sanitary Sewer Backups

Below are some tips to help reduce the chances of a backup occurring in your home. To see our full sewer brochure click here.

  • All sink, tub, and floor drains should be fitted with baskets or strainers to catch any type of debris. Inspect them often and clear them regularly.
  • Do not flush paper products such as paper towels, moist towelettes, handy wipes, disposable towels, diapers, napkins, or feminine products. The only truly flushable paper product is toilet paper. Other products might say they are flushable, but can still cause a sewer blockage.
  • Do not pour cooking grease or oil down your drains. While it may be a liquid while it's hot, it sets up quickly and builds on the inside of your plumbing until it eventually causes a complete blockage. This type of blockage can be very difficult and expensive to remove.
  • Do not use the garbage disposal to shred solid material into finer pieces because this doesn’t liquify them and it could get clogged in the sewage system. Some examples of kitchen solids are watermelon rinds, potato peels, orange peels, corn kernels, eggshells, and chicken bones. All these items can cause a sewer backup in your line.
  • In the bathroom, keep sinks with pop-up stoppers clog-free by routinely cleaning out the hair and other materials that collects in them.

Dispose of Household Hazardous Wastes Safely

Many household products are potentially hazardous to people and the environment and never should be flushed down drains, toilets, or storm sewers. Treatment plant workers can be injured and wastewater systems can be damaged as a result of improper disposal of hazardous materials.

Hazardous Chemicals

Other hazardous chemicals cannot be treated effectively by municipal wastewater systems and may reach local drinking water sources. When flushed into septic systems and other onsite systems, they can temporarily disrupt the biological processes in the tank and soil absorption field, allowing hazardous chemicals and untreated wastewater to reach groundwater. Some examples of hazardous household materials that you should not flush or pour down the drain include:

  • Antifreeze
  • Battery fluid
  • Motor oil
  • Oven cleaner
  • Paint
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals, drugs, pills
  • Polish
  • Rat poison
  • Solvents including paint thinner, mineral spirits, gasoline and kerosene
  • Transmission fluid
  • Varnish
  • Wax