Winter 2019
prevent drain clogsWastewater workers refer to FOG – Fats, oil & grease, as a costly and stubborn problem for homeowners, businesses and municipalities alike. Restaurants are required to install grease traps to collect waste before it goes down the plumbing and into the city’s sewer. Individual residences are not required to have these protections and many contaminants are entering the Sewer utility.

We have all heard the horror stories recalling grease and food particles clogging sinks and drains amounting to thousands of dollars in costly home repairs due to improper disposal of oil, foods, and grease. There are even more threats lurking just around the bowls and basins of your homes and workplaces.

The Top Ten Items that should never be flushed down the Toilet:
·   Disposable diapers, including brands marketed as flushable.
·   Baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, or similar products
·   Dental floss
·   Hair cleaned from combs and brushes
·   Personal care products such as cotton swabs or balls, plastics, or latex
·   Feminine hygiene products including the cardboard and/or plastic applicators
·   Toilet paper tubes or wrappers
·   Paper towels
·   Cloth diapers, underwear, rags, towels, sheets, or clothing of any kind
·   Cigarette butts

Other items that should never be flushed (or poured down any drain):
·   Cooking oils and grease
·   Paint, stains or wood preservatives of any kind
·   Motor oil, antifreeze or solvents of any kind
·   Pesticides, herbicides, weed killers, or chemicals of any kind
·   Medications of any kind (look for local drop-offs)
·   Disposable lighters
·   Needles (sharps), razor blades or pins
·   Fish, turtles, lizards, or other pets (dead or alive)

The Edmonds Sewer Utility would highly prefer that people never flush any of the items that are listed above. Just because a product is labeled “Flushable” on its packaging, or because you can physically make it pass through your toilet, does not mean that it will not cause problems downstream. The listed items do not dissolve in contact with water and can cause blockages in your sewer lines or in the sewer main lines. If these items manage to reach the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, they have to be removed by mechanical screening. Many of these items make it past the screens and routinely clog pump stations and treatment plant pumps, resulting in costly repairs.