Liquid News

Take a Holiday from Gunked Up Pipes

The holidays are stressful enough, right? Don’t create headaches by clogging your drains or gunking up the sewer system. De-gunking drives up maintenance expenses, costing water customers money that’s better saved for holiday gifts. Stay in the holiday spirt all year long by following these tips from IRWD collection systems manager Dorien McElroy:

Keep grease out of drains. Avoid holiday meal headaches by not pouring cooking grease down the drain. Grease from holiday turkeys, roasts and hams is a leading cause of sewage spills this time of year. Put leftover grease in containers with lids, such as jars, then throw them in the garbage. When cleaning a greasy pan, pour grease into a container, wipe excess grease from the pan with paper towels, and throw the towels away.

Put eggshells in the trash. Eggshells are like calcium. Running them through the garbage disposal in your sink is like dumping sand or rocks in the sewer.

Don’t flush flushables. Despite the unfortunate name, “flushable” wipes are not fl ushable. Good old-fashioned toilet paper is made to disperse and disintegrate as it agitates in water. Flushables are not paper—they are made of plastic that can’t decompose or break into bits. As a result, they get stuck in pipelines and pumping equipment, creating maintenance mayhem.

Throw away sanitary napkins. Paper towels can clog toilet pipes and cause headaches for ratepayers. Same problem with tampons and applicators. Dispose of these items properly, in the garbage can.

Toss the floss. Dental fl oss can clump in the pump. So keep your hygienist and your water worker happy by flossing every day—and then tossing the floss in the trash.

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