Homes or businesses may occasionally experience backups in their sewer lateral. Three of the most common causes of backups and overflows are tree roots that grow into the sewer line, pipe failures, or a build-up and blockage due to fats, oils or grease.
One of the most common reasons for a sewer blockage is congealed fats, oils and/or grease (or FOG) in the sewer line. When FOG is poured down your sink or drain, it quickly cools and congeals, and will ultimately cause buildups or stoppages. It is very important that FOG is disposed of properly. If disposed of incorrectly, FOG can cause buildups in laterals and even the main that leads to unpleasant (and unhealthy) overflows and backups into our homes, streets, beaches and storm drains.
Here are a few tips to keeping sewer lines healthy and flowing normally.
- Do NOT pour any greasy food or oils down the garbage disposal, toilet or any other drain. This includes all meat fats, lard, cooking oil, sauces, butter, and margarine.
- Cool and/or solidify all fats, oils and grease before disposing of them.
- Dispose of the cooled FOG properly – in the trash only and never in any drain (including toilets)
- Scrape all food and FOG off of plates, pots and pans and into the trash before dishwashing
- Use sink strainers while washing dishes to catch food.
- Do not flush wipes, feminine hygiene products, pills, or any other trash in the toilet. Wipes labeled “flushable” will still cause backups. Do not flush anything other than the 3 P’s (pee, poo and toilet paper) down the toilet.