Maintain Your Sewer Lateral
It's important to keep your part of the sewer system maintained and clean so that it doesn't cause sewer spills and backups, damage property or threaten the health of you, other people or the environment.
A cracked and damaged sewer connection lateral not only causes problems for your property but also for the main City sewer system.
A sewer lateral is the pipe that runs from your home or business to the main sewer pipe in the middle of the street. As the property owner you own this portion of the sewer lateral and it's your responsibility to maintain it.
Use a Qualified Plumber. Always hire a qualified plumber to inspect and repair your sewer lateral and make sure a cleanout and backflow prevention device is installed to stop overflows into your home. Make sure the lateral is inspected when purchasing a new home or building so you can be prepared for any possible problems.
Don’t Connect Drains or Gutters to Your Sewer Lateral. Drain water can overload sewer pipelines and treatment plants, increasing the risk of backups and spills, and increasing costs. Never break or open your sewer lateral or a sewer line. Divert drain water to the street, not the sewer lateral.
Keep Your Sewer Pipes Clean
Fats, Oils & Grease
Fats, oils and grease not only clog pipes, but are terrible for sewage systems. Blocked sewer pipes can cause raw sewage to overflow into your home or your neighbor's home, which can mean an expensive cleanup that will usually be paid for by you, the property owner. Overflowing sewage can also carry disease-causing organisms, flow into parks, yards and streets and cause higher sewer bills due to increased operation and maintenance costs for our local sewer departments.
Much of the grease causing the overflow is from the kitchen sink. This includes:
- Meat fats
- Cooking oil
- Butter and margarine
- Food scraps
- Baking goods
- Dairy products
The grease sticks to the insides of sewer pipes, both on your property and in the streets. Here's what you can do to dispose of fats, oils and grease:
- After frying foods, let the grease cool and solidify and then scrape it into the garbage.
- Dry wipe dishes, pots and pans to remove residual grease before washing.
- Dispose of food scraps into compost. Minimize the use of garbage disposals.
- Pour cooled fats, oils & grease into a container.
Other things to never put down your drain:
- Fats, oils or grease from cars or lawnmowers
- Coffee grinds
- Egg shells
- Produce stickers
- Chunks of garbage
- Feminine hygiene products
- Paper towels
- Flushable cat litter
- Motor oil, transmission fluids, anti-freeze or other toxic chemicals
- Solvents, paints, turpentine, nail polish, polish remover
- Flammable or explosive substances
- Corrosive substances that are either acidic or caustic
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
Even though products are advertised as "flushable" they end up clogging the system. We're finding a lot of these items in our pipes, which are difficult to remove and can cause costly damage to private and public property. Remember, toilets are not trash cans!