Sewer System Do's & Don'ts

Your tax dollars support the city’s sewerage system at a cost of over $18 million a year. Homeowners also bear an additional expense for their own sewer lines. These lines generally run from the residence to the city right-of-way.

See Where does it go after it leaves the sink? ---How the sewer system works.

There are several ways that you can help all of us prevent blockages in both of our sewer systems.

Do's
  • Avoid release of hair into drains of showers, bath tubs and wash basins to prevent clogs in the traps and drains
  • Clean vents annually (leading from toilets) located on the roof. It is identifiable by a 2-inch pipe on the roof. Failure to clean vents may result in stoppages, causing dangerous sewer line gases to back up into your residence.
  • Scrape grease and food residue from dishes and pans into a garbage bag before placing into your dishwasher or sink. This will reduce grease build-up in the sewer lines.
  • Unclog drains naturally by pouring 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Follow a few minutes later with boiling water. Pour boiling water down the drains weekly to prevent clogs.
  • Empty washing machine lint into a garbage bag to avoid the discharge of lint into the sewer line.
  • Associations for condominiums or town home complexes should hire a plumber to conduct preventive maintenance on collector lines in the street. Check all water sources such as sinks, toilets, showers, and outdoor faucets for leaks which can overload the sewer system and increase water and sewer fee costs.

Don'ts
  • Pour household grease into sinks, garbage disposal, or other drains. This is one of the major contributors to sewer stoppages.
  • Flush diapers, baby wipes, Q-Tips, personal sanitary products, newspapers, soiled rags, or paper towels down toilets or drains. These items may cause a stoppage in your line.
  • Don’t use garbage disposals. Food debris can stick to any FOG that may be in the lines, causing a blockage
Wise use of the sewerage system and performance of simple preventive maintenance will help safeguard the system and reduce costs for everyone. Learn more about fats, oils, and grease in your sewer line.