Preventing Residential Sanitary Sewer Backups

Property owners and renters can help prevent sanitary sewers from backing up in basements, yards, parks or streets. Properly disposing of certain items leads to fewer expensive and unpleasant clean-ups that often must be paid for by You, the Homeowner or Business Owner.

A common cause of overflows is sanitary sewer pipes blocked with grease. Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of, after it cools off, in the garbage, not the sink drain. If grease is washed down the drain with hot water, it will cool off and solidify either in the drain, the property owner's line, or in the main sewer. When this happens, the line constricts, and eventually clogs.


Paper towels, flushable wipes, rags, disposable and cloth diapers, and feminine products cause big problems in the sewer. These products do not deteriorate quickly, as bathroom tissue. They become lodged in portions of the lateral or main, causing a sewer backup. These products should also be disposed of in the garbage. Review To flush or not to flush (PDF).

Hazardous chemicals, automotive fluids, fuels, solvents and paints can disrupt treatment at the wastewater plant and potentially cause an explosion in sewer lines. This waste should be recycled, reused or properly disposed of by a licensed company. Take this waste to the Household Chemical Round-up Events. To learn more, view, Household Chemical Round-up Events.

Flushing of unused and unwanted medications can cause pollution of lakes, streams and water supplies. Participate in the Medical Take-back Program where medications collected are destroyed by incineration for the highest degree of environmental protection. For more information, view Medical Take-back Program.

Proteja el desagüe, elimine la grasa de manera responsable:

Las grasas y los aceites que se generan en la cocina pueden causar serios problemas en el sistema cloacal sanitario. Cuando las grasas y los aceites se vuelcan en los desagües de la cocina, se solidifican y tapan las tuberías cloacales, interrumpiendo su flujo y causando acumulaciones indeseadas de desechos cloacales (sin tratar) en el sótano de nuestras casas, en jardines, o en las calles. Estos accidentes son costosos, y la limpieza termina siendo pagada por los residentes, los comercios y el gobierno de la ciudad. Ayúdenos a eliminar las grasas y los aceites del sistema cloacal sanitario. Colecte la grasa en un contenedor, déjela enfriar y tirela a la basura. Muchas Gracias.