The regional wastewater treatment facility is effective at treating wastewater and removing most pollutants that enter the sewer system via the drains in your homes and businesses. However, it's every day actions to prevent pollutants from entering drains and reaching the waterway that really add up. Everyone has a role in keeping our local waterways and the environment healthy.
Fats, Oils, Grease (FOG)
Grease is a by-product of cooking. It comes from meat, lard, oil, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, baking goods, sauces and dairy products. When grease washes down the sink, it sticks to the insides of the pipes that connect your home or business to the local and regional sewer system.
Eventually the grease can build up and completely block the sewer pipe resulting in a difficult and costly maintenance problem for private property owners, the cities and the MWMC. Blocked sewer pipes can cause raw sewage to backup into your home or business, or overflow into streets.
How can you help out at home?
- Scrape food scraps into the trash.
- Pour grease into metal cans, let it harden and throw in the trash.
- Stop using your garbage disposal, or try to minimize its use.
- Wipe pots, pans and dishes with a paper towel before washing them.
- Pour grease down the sink or toilet.
- Don't use cloth towels or rags to scrape oil or grease off plates and utensils because grease will drain to the sewer when you wash the towels.
- Don't run water over dishes, pans, fryers or griddles to wash oil and grease down the drain.
What not to flush
Drains are not trash cans and the sewer system and treatment plant can’t handle chemicals or trash. Chemicals can harm the treatment plant or environment and trash can cause sewer back-ups and overflows.
Do not dump any of the following down the drain.
- motor oil and auto fluids
- pesticides, fertilizers and lawn care products
- beauty products
- medications (prescription and over-the-counter)
- paint, varnish, paint remover
- photographic chemicals
Paper and plastic trash, such as the items listed below, should be put in your garbage can or dumpster.
- paper towels
- dental floss
- feminine hygiene products and applicators
- cat litter
- disposable diapers
Want More Information?
Check out these great local resources for more information on how you can prevent pollution: