WHAT CAUSES SEWER OVERFLOWS?
BLOCKAGES / STOP-UPS
Sewer back-ups and overflows are frequently caused by improper materials such as fats, oils and grease being placed into the sewer system. Since fats, oils and grease are lighter than water; they tend to accumulate at the top and sides of sewer pipes and can build up until a blockage occurs. They also tend to solidify as they cool inside pipes. If a blockage occurs, the sewer backs up or overflows resulting in property and environmental damage.
City of Waco ordinances require that restaurants install and maintain grease traps and/or interceptors to prevent grease from entering the sewer system. However, there are many more homes than there are restaurants.
Sanitary sewer systems are designed to handle only three things: used water, human body waste, and toilet paper.
By reducing the amount of fats, oils and grease that enter the sewer system from homes, you can help to protect the environment by preventing sewer back-ups and overflows.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Collect grease in a container and dispose of it in the garbage.
- Place food scraps in waste containers or garbage bags for disposal with solid waste, or start a compost pile.
- Place a wastebasket in the bathroom to dispose of solid waste. Disposable diapers, condoms and personal hygiene products do not belong in the sewer system.
- Pour grease, fats and oils from cooking down the drain.
- Use the toilet as a wastebasket.
- Use the sewer as a means to dispose of food scraps.
These suggestions can save you money too! Most sewer back-ups occur between the house and the City's sewer main, where the property owner is responsible for correcting the problem.