Preventing Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs)
Despite the diligence of the District's maintenance program, overflows do still occur. Culprits include: diapers and other hygiene products that should not have been flushed down the toilet; fats, oils, and grease (FOG) that should not have been poured down the drain; and construction debris introduced into the collection system. In short, overflows are usually preventable. Overflow cleanup is costly and has the potential to introduce pathogens into the environment. If an overflow reaches a storm drain or watershed, the District is required to report the incident to environmental agencies, raising the potential for fines or litigation (under provisions of the Clean Water Act) by environmental watchdog groups. In fact, the District recently settled (for $17,000) with such a group whose cause of action was based simply on the fact that overflows had occurred.
What YOU can do
Never flush solid objects down the toilets.
Don't use your toilet or sink drain as a garbage can for household chemicals, dental floss, rags, old sponges, etc.
Never pour fats, oils, and grease down the sink or garbage disposal!
Before washing, scrape and dry-wipe pots, pans, and dishes with a paper towel and dispose of it in the trash.
Use a grease can to collect all your excess fats, oils, and grease (FOG).
Cool fats, oils, and grease and pour into the grease can.
Mix oils and grease with other absorbent material like paper towels, kitty litter, or coffee grounds and allow the contents to congeal in the refrigerator or freezer.