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Help prevent sanitary sewer backups

Recently, Utilities Division staff has been experiencing pump failures in the city's sanitary sewer system due to clogging by items not meant to be disposed of down drains, including but not limited to towels or rags.

In order to minimize the risk of a sewer backup, it is important property owners are careful about items they flush and put down drains.

Property owners and managers must remember just because it is possible to get an item down sinks or flushed down a toilet doesn't mean it is the proper way to dispose of it. When excessive amounts of fats, oils, and grease or other inappropriate waste are put into the sanitary sewer system, they can cause sewer lines to plug and pumps to fail, leading to sewer backups into homes and businesses and possibly cause serious property damage.

How residents and businesses can help
Property owners can help keep sanitary sewer lines clean by only disposing of appropriate waste in the sanitary sewer system. Some items that cause backups are diapers, shop towels, fats, oils, grease, cloth rags, baby wipes, cleaning wipes, bandages, feminine napkins, prophylactics and stringy material such as floss or hair. Please dispose of these items in the trash so the system continues to flow properly and your basements and businesses remain dry. Also remember that even though some products such as baby wipes are labeled as "flushable" it is not appropriate to flush them.

More information on sanitary sewers

Questions should be directed to the Utilities Division at (651) 714-3720 or