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Drainwreck

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 If we don't cool it with all the fats, oil and grease we'll be headed toward a drainwreck! Flushable wipes clog pipes! Despite their claims, flushable wipes do not dissolve! 

 

Abilene’s Drain Problem

Countless amounts of fats, oils and grease are disposed down drains and into the City of Abilen’s sewer system everyday. Over time, these coat the inside of pipes and as they build up, they form into clogs, which then cause contents to backup or overflow. And with the recent rise of flushable wipes, these clogs are forming exponentially faster as the hardened grease also adheres to the non-decomposed wipe. These overflows may result in property damage, foul odors and road closures and their rate of occurrence in Abilene has been increasing.

clogged pipe  

Clogged Pipes Cause Overflows

Over time, grease poured down drains into the sewer system builds up to a point wastewater cannot pass through.

Myths

Taking good care of your drains and plumbing can prevent costly, inconvenient plumbing problems. But when it comes to everyday drain maintenance, conventional wisdom isn’t always wise. Here are a few common misconceptions about what can and can’t go down the drain:

Myth #1

Washing grease down with soap & hot water is enough to prevent a clog.

 

Myth #2

Garbage disposals chop up greasy foods into such small pieces, they won't cause any problems.

 

Myth #3

Wipes that say they are disposable or flushable can be used as an alternative to toilet paper and disposed of down the drain.


 
 

Fact

While rinsing with soap and hot water may make your drain shine, it doesn’t eliminate grease from your plumbing system. Just as cholesterol clogs human arteries slowly over time, leading to a heart attack, any grease you’re washing down the drain doesn’t simply disappear – no matter how much soap you chase it with. Eventually, it cools down and the grease separates from the soap and water, coating the inside of your pipes as it hardens. Over time, that coating grows thicker and thicker, until one day no water can pass through. Then, it backs up into your home, or, if the clog is further down the line, into your neighbor’s house.

 

Fact

The smaller the pieces, the likelier a clog. Think of it this way: If you’ve got a wide pipe full of golf balls, you can still run water through between them. But pack that pipe with sand, and you’ve got yourself a clogged pipe. When you chop greasy food into small pieces with a garbage disposal, the food will decompose more quickly, releasing grease faster to coat the inside of your pipes. This is why it’s best to throw fatty foods into the trash can, pour grease into a can or the trash – never down the drain – and wipe greasy dishes with a paper towel before washing them in the sink or dishwasher.

 

Fact

Although these wipes are designed to be biodegradable and break down when flushed, unfortunately that doesn’t happen fast enough. Many local residents have learned the hard way that they can clog their home’s toilets and plumbing. If they do exit your home’s plumbing and enter the city’s underground sewer system, they mix with household grease, creating large, immoveable clogs that can stop the flow of waste water, clog up pipes, and cause sewers to back up into homes and overflow through manholes into the streets.

 

Costs

monetary
  sanitary
  accessibility

 Monetary

If the clog is in plumbing on your property, it is your responsibility to clean and repair, which can cost hundreds of dollars. When clogs are within the Abilene sewer system, each can cost the City thousands of dollars to repair.

 

Sanitary

Sewage overflows inside homes and businesses are not pleasant experiences. The sewer system doesn’t just carry away waste from the toilet, it carries away everything disposed down the drain whether it be sinks, floor drains, washing machines, dishwashers. Clogs can back up and overflow through any of these sources causing a huge mess and rancid odor.

 

Accessibility

When repairs are made, the water is often turned off. If there is a clog in a multi-family unit, it is common that the water to the entire building would be turned off. If an overflow occurs from a manhole into the streets, you can expect road closures and detours. Common play and parking areas such as cul-de-sacs, can be blocked off while repairs and clean up take place.

 

Prevention

When it Comes to Flushable Wipes...
When it Comes to Grease...

Recent Incidents

Number of Sanitary Sewer Overflows in Abilene

From Jan 1 – Feb 28, 2019 there were:

2 OVERFLOWS  •  2 GREASE-RELATED


New Issue on the Rise...
Flushable Wipes?
Busiest Time of the Year for Plumbers

For more information, call (325) 676-6405

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