Preventing Sewer Spills

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What Not to Throw Down the Drain!

Sewage spills can cause health hazards, damage home and businesses, and threaten the local environment. Spills are often caused by pipeline blockages due to grease buildup, debris, or structural damage due to tree roots. Here are some ways you can help prevent them!

  1. Never put grease down garbage disposals, drains, or toilets. Mix fats, oils, and grease with absorbent waste materials like paper, coffee grounds, or kitty litter and place it in the trash. Wipe food scraps from plates and pans and dump them in the trash as well.
  2. Have your sewer pipes inspected and cleaned periodically to eliminate grease, debris, and roots from causing a blockage.
  3. Repair any damage to your sewer pipes that might compromise their integrity as well as capacity.

Never put hazardous materials down the drain!
Pouring the wrong thing down the drain can impact not only your sewer pipes, but also EMWD's ability to provide safe and reliable wastewater (sewer) service. For example, modern wastewater treatment plants like those operated by EMWD function primarily through a biological process that disposes of sewage. If a large amount of a pesticide or other harmful substance arrives at the plant through the sewer system over a relatively short period, it can literally "kill" a treatment plant, in some cases. That can cause massive environmental problems, great inconvenience for an entire community, and eventual sewer rate increases to pay the bill.

It’s a lot easier than you may think to safely dispose of hazardous materials.

Residential holders of banned substances can take those materials to a household hazardous waste collection facility in their community or wait for a hazardous substances collection event. Information about collection facilities and events in Riverside County can be obtained by calling (951) 358-5256.

Businesses should return banned substances to their suppliers.

Remember, it is very important that you dispose of these materials correctly. Never simply pour them down the drain or out on the ground.