When sewers don't flow, they can back up in your home, yard, or even in the street. The main cause of sewage overflows in most cities is cooking oil and grease. When grease is washed down the sink, it cools and congeals on sewer lines. Over time it can build up like arterial sclerosis until a clog is formed. Some overflows in the street can even flow into storm drains, which flow to local creeks, beaches, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The problem is compounded when thirsty plant roots look for water in the pipes. Their roots create a clog forming network. To protect the Bay and ensure clog-free drains, follow these simple steps:
- Put a lid on cooking oil and grease — place your sewer on a Fat-Free diet.
- Scrape grease out of pans into a can and place it in a garbage can with a plastic liner. (Garbage disposals don’t remove grease. They add clog inducing solids to the sanitary sewer collection system.)
There's More! Don't Flush Clog-forming Items
Many items labeled "flushable" are not! Dispose of the following items in the garbage, not in the sewer.
- Baby wipes, cleaning and disinfecting wipes, facial towelettes, polishing wipes, dental floss, and nursing pads
- Paper towels
- Feminine hygiene products
- Toilet cleaning scrubbers