BE KIND TO YOUR PIPES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!
COOKS & KITCHEN HELPERS REMINDED
TO AVOID POURING ‘FOG’ DOWN SINK DRAINS
Also, avoid sewer backups
by flushing only toilet paper
RAPID CITY—City officials are reminding the public to ‘Be Kind To Your Pipes’, especially as the holiday season begins and there’s more activity in the kitchen and visitors in the home.
Among the protocols to follow in the kitchen this holiday season and anytime, according to City officials, is avoiding ‘FOG’! Avoid pouring fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the kitchen sink that will cause sewer clogs. In addition, remember to only flush toilet paper down the toilet. Heavier items will cause sewer backups and lead to possible costly repairs.
“The messages are important throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season when more time will likely be spent cooking in the kitchen,” said Rapid City Water Reclamation Superintendent Dave Van Cleave. “It’s important to avoid the temptation to pour the drippings from the turkey down the sink, or pour oil from a deep fat fryer down the sink.”
Van Cleave says some helpful hints in the kitchen this holiday season include:
**Don’t pour the turkey drippings down the sink, even one pan of drippings can completely clog your drain pipe.
**Don’t rinse butter or heavy whipping cream down the sink as it can solidify in the drain pipe and sewer line, causing blockages.
**Pouring the gallons of oil from a deep fryer can damage plumbing and lead to a sewer overflow.
**Instead of pouring fats, oils and greases down sink drains, toilets or storm drains, Van Cleave recommends pouring the liquids into a container, sealing and disposing of the container. In addition, residents can wipe pots, pans and dishes with a dry paper towel before rinsing or washing.
Van Cleave says the holiday season is also a good time to remind homeowners about what NOT to flush down the toilet.
“During the holidays, you may have a house full of visitors, it’s important to remind them to make sure that only toilet paper is flushed down the toilet to avoid sewer backups,” Van Cleave said. “A little planning in the kitchen and communication with holiday guests for the bathroom will go a long way in preventing the inconvenience of backups and possibly costly repairs.”
Van Cleave says many of the issues involving sewer main backups in Rapid City involve the flushing of products such as non-disposable and disposable wipes, rags, tampons and other heavy products. Only toilet paper should be flushed down toilets.
"Toilet paper breaks down in water but heavier products do not degrade and can be the main cause for blockages that lead to sewer backups. Flushable wipes are flushable only because they fit into the toilet but they can be a major cause of backups," Van Cleave said. "Products other than toilet paper should be placed in the trash and not down the toilet.”
Common items flushed down the toilet that can lead to blockages and backups include shop and paper towels, cleaning and baby wipes, sanitary napkins and cotton swabs, wrappers, cigarette butts and condoms. Such items should be placed in the trash.
"Changing a few routines and habits can avoid costly repairs and cleanup costs," said Van Cleave.
The Rapid City Utility Maintenance Office promotes 'No Wipes In The Pipes' and 'Fat-Free Sewers' among its educational efforts in the community.