Sewer Do’s and Don'ts

toilets are not trashcansDO’S:

DO - Following the suggestions listed below may save residents money and avoid significant inconvenience, as well as the cost to the resident or community for clearing and repairing blockages.

DO - Place liquid fats, oils and grease (FOG) into a jar or container with a lid and then dispose in the trash on trash collection day.  Wipe down greasy pots and pans with a paper towel prior to washing in the sink or dishwasher.

DO - Place a wastebasket in the bathroom to dispose of solid wastes. Disposable diapers, and personal hygiene products do not belong in the sewer system.

DO - Use a strainer over the drain in your sink, tub and shower. Then, empty the collected material into the garbage.

DO - Use a composter. If you haven't begun a compost heap, start one with lawn clippings, garden rubbish and food scraps and use the compost to fertilize your garden. 

DO - Use the manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent for washing in the kitchen or laundry. The average household uses three times more detergent than manufacturers recommend for washing dishes and clothes. When these detergents enter the sewer system, they hold large amounts of fats, oils, and grease in suspension making cleaning and treating the wastewater difficult and more costly. In addition to saving money on buying detergents, by cutting down on the amount of detergent used, there will also be less phosphate in the environment to cause the growth of algae in water.

DON'TS:

Do not - pour fats, oils and grease from cooking down the sink drain. If your pots and pans are oily or greasy, don't rinse them; wipe them out with a paper towel.

Do not - pour sour milk down the sink. One liter of full cream milk has enough fat in it to cover the surface of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. 

Do not - use the toilet as a wastebasket / garbage can.

Do not - use the sewer as a means to dispose of food scraps.

Do not - discard food scraps, tealeaves, coffee grounds and eggshells down the sink.

Do not - flush razor blades, pharmaceutical products, cigarette butts, nail polish remover, toilet deodorant dispensers or other non-biodegradable products down the toilet. Also, toys can find their way into the system and cause problems.

Do not - place jewelry and valuables on the edge of the basin or the sink. Once flushed down the toilet, valuable and valued items are very difficult to recover. 

Do not - flush diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, convenience pads, surgical bandages, syringes, and cotton tipped stems or pantyhose down the toilet. Do not dispose of plastics and plastic film from personal hygiene items, including disposable diapers.

Do not -pour paint, engine oil, pesticides or chemicals down the sink. Some hazardous materials can corrode the sewer, while others complicate the treatment process. In fact, dumping them in the sewer is illegal and could subject you to a fine. This isn't only because of the threat of these hazards getting into the environment; but also because these chemicals pose a health threat to maintenance crews working in the sewers. Similarly, by throwing hazardous materials in the solid waste containers, you are creating a risk for collection employees. 

Do not - flush a commercial grease interceptor with hot water to clear or clean the interceptor in lieu of cleaning and pumping out the interceptor.