Preventing Sewer Line Blockages


Avoid Clogged Pipes

There are many reasons why a sewer lateral from a home may be blocked.  It is important to make sure your lines are clear, so these blockages do not cause a backup of sewage into your home.  Here are some helpful preventative measures to keep your sewer line clear:

  • Don’t toss coffee grounds, bacon grease, fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells and other items down the kitchen drain!  Even with the help of a garbage disposal, it can lead to sewer clogs and wastewater backing up into homes and businesses.   Over time, the build-up can result in costly clean ups and repairs for residents and businesses. While disposing such items through the kitchen sink may not always cause a backed up sewer line, treating pollutants is still costly and paid for through monthly sewer bills.
  • Never pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink where it will solidify and build up over time.  One of the most difficult challenges in sanitary sewer collection is grease that is poured down the drain from cooking or other uses. 
  • Never flush anything down the toilet that is not toilet paper.  “Disposable” and “flushable” wipes, such as Swiffer, sanitary, baby, and hand wipes have become increasingly popular, but they should never be flushed down your toilet. They can clog your sewer line and cause a backup into your home that would require more than a wipe to clean up.
  • Make sure you check your washing machine to ensure that you have all the proper screens in place so clothing is not being sucked out with the water flow.  Also, never flush clothing down the toilet.
  • Trees are very efficient at finding water and, unfortunately, they frequently see the source of their water inside sewer lines.  The best method of preventing root problems is not to plant trees in the vicinity of sewer lines. Remember, trees can spread their roots a significant distance and depth.  Also, use sewer pipes with tight sealed joints, such as ABS plastic with glued joints.

For your sewer safety, NEVER open a sewer manhole. Our trained employees have the safety equipment necessary to check the manholes to make sure there are no dangerous gases present. In addition, our manhole covers are very heavy; lifting them could hurt your back. The Sewer Operations team at JCSD will respond to your request for emergency services 24 hours a day.  Please call us first if you experience any of these inconveniences:

  • Building sewer backup/stoppage
  • Overflowing manhole
  • Manhole cover off/broken/open
  • Noisy manhole
  • Sewer odor
  • Broken sewer line

Help avoid the frustration of a clogged sewer by following these simple and no-cost tips:

The safest way to dispose of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from the kitchen is to dispose of it in the trash.

Use a coffee can lined with a plastic bag to collect kitchen FOG.  Make sure the oil is cool before you pour it in the can, so it does not penetrate the plastic liner.  Dispose the bag in your trash.

Mix excess oil with absorbent materials such as paper towels, coffee grounds, shredded newspaper, or kitty litter.

Scrape your plate!  Toss all leftovers you may have on your plate into the trash and NOT into the sink and down the drain.

Coffee grounds should also be placed in the trash, composting bin or garden – they serve as a natural fertilizer.

When it doubt, dump it out – in the trash.