Preventing Clogs 101:
FOG is the number one cause of sewer system blockages in the Metro Atlanta area. Fats, Oils & Grease build up and eventually block the plumbing and sewer system. These blockages can cause sewage to flow out of manholes into streets and rivers, or up floor drains in homes. Preventing these blockages protects the environment and saves residents money.
MYTH - Using a garbage disposal will not clog pipes.
FACT - Garbage disposals conveniently dispose of grease bearing food particles, but often leads to higher incidence of sewer clogs, not only from the additional grease, but also from the food particles themselves which can become trapped by existing grease in sewer pipes.
MYTH – If I use hot water and dish soap when disposing of grease in my kitchen sink, the drain and pipes won’t become clogged.
FACT – As the grease travels down the pipe, it cools and hardens again which then causes clogs.
Common Sources of FOG
What YOU can do?
- Do not pour FOG down your drain.
- Allow FOG to cool and pour into a disposable container to place in the trash.
- Scrape all FOG off of plates and wipe dry with a paper towel.
- Use a sink strainer to catch all food particles that may fall in the sink and throw away.
- Throw all Fats, Oils, Grease and, food scraps in the trash.
Please remember, when using disinfectant wipes, antibacterial wipes, Clorox wipes, etc., throw them away in the trashcan, and don't flush them down your toilet. If anything other than toilet paper is flushed, it clogs the sewer pipes which causes overflows into our waterways and backups of sewage into your home.
You should never use your toilet as a trash can. The list below gives some examples of items that when flushed can clog toilets causing backups into your home and damages to our wastewater treatment facilities. It also causes expensive cleanups, an increase in water bills, and raw sewage overflows that harm marine animals, and create toxic environmental issues.
Do Not Flush These Items:
- Cleaning wipes, antibacterial wipes
- Baby wipes and diapers
- "Flushable" wipes - no wipes of any kind should be flushed
- Rags and towels, Swiffer cloths
- Cotton swabs
- Candy and other food wrappers
- Clothing labels
- Cleaning sponges
- Plastic items of any description
- Aquarium gravel or kitty litter
- Rubber items such as latex gloves
- Cigarette butts
- Sanitary napkins
- Disposable toilet brushes
- Have your system inspected every three years by a qualified professional or according to your state/ local health department’s recommendations.
- Have your septic tank pumped, when necessary, generally every three to five years.
- Avoid pouring harsh products (e.g., oils, grease, chemicals, paint, medications) down the drain Discard non-degradable products in the trash (e.g., floss, disposable wipes, cat litter) instead of flushing them.
- Keep cars and heavy vehicles parked away from the drainfield and tank.
- Follow the system manufacturer’s directions when using septic tank cleaners and additives.
- Repair leaks and use water-efficient fixtures to avoid overloading the system.
- Maintain plants and vegetation near the system to ensure roots do not block drains.
- Use soaps and detergents that are low-suds, biodegradable, and low- or phosphate-free.
- Prevent system freezing during cold weather by inspecting and insulating vulnerable system parts (e.g., the inspection pipe and soil treatment area).