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Keep Fats, Oils, Grease and Wipes Out of the Drain

When sewers become blocked, sewage can overflow onto streets and backup into homes causing damage to property and the environment. Sewer repair to remove blockages, and to clean up after a sewer backup occurs, is expensive.  

Avoid the Drain On: 

People  •  Property  •  Time  •  Money  •  Infrastructure  •  Environment

Avoid the Drain By:

  • Pouring fats, oils and grease into a disposable, re-sealable container such as an empty glass jar or coffee can. Once the material has cooled and solidified, secure the lid and place in the trash.   
  • Wiping greasy pots, pans and dishes down with a disposable paper towel to remove excess grease before washing or placing in the dishwasher.
  • Using a sink strainer to catch food scraps, preventing them from being washed down the drain.
  • Placing food scraps in the trash, or home composting pile.  Avoid putting large amounts of vegetable waste, through the garbage disposal at one time. Even though these materials will go through the garbage disposal, they may clog the private building sewer.
  • Keep a lint trap in sinks that drain washing machines in place. It is easier to clean out the lint traps than it is to clean out the building sewer
  • Don't flush disposable wipes down the toilet. Although they are advertised as "flushable", they are not biodegradable and can cause issues with the sewer lateral, the sewer main and at the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Know what goes in the trash, and what can be flushed.  
    • Just like flushable wipes, paper towels do not degrade like toilet paper, and when flushed can result in sewer blockage.  
    • Many of the chemicals contained in medications cannot be removed from water during the wastewater or potable drinking water process. Either place these items with trash or return to your local pharmacy for disposal.
    • Other items commonly flushed that can either cause/contribute to sewer blockages or poor water quality include, but is not limited to: cat litter, hypodermic needles, cloth, rags, dental floss, feminine products, plastic bags and bottles, condoms, diapers, cigar tips, and cigarette butts.


    If the building sewer serves a commercial establishment in which a grease trap is required, the grease trap should be cleaned periodically to prevent the solids from bypassing into the building sewer.  

    This brochure is a great resource for best practices in avoiding sewer backup in a commercial environment.