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Are Filling Baskets Emptying Your Bank Account?
Posted: Aug 15, 2017 5:49pm

It's that time of year again and the laundry baskets are filling up with school clothes, sports uniforms, and endless amounts of towels.   What can you do about making sure those baskets filling up don't empty your checking account?

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What NOT to flush
Posted: Jul 25, 2017 11:36am

Although the toilet may seem like an easy way, it is not a trash can. Flushing anything that isn’t toilet tissue or waste contributes to home plumbing blockages, septic system issues, city sewer overflows, and increased work for sewer crews and wastewater treatment plants…

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Leaving Your Home for a While?
Posted: Jul 6, 2017 5:30pm

Don’t Forget to Turn Off Your Water!

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What NOT to flush

Although the toilet may seem like an easy way, it is not a trash can. Flushing anything that isn’t toilet tissue or waste contributes to home plumbing blockages, septic system issues, city sewer overflows, and increased work for sewer crews and wastewater treatment plants…


What should you be flushing?

If it isn’t toilet paper or human waste, do not flush it.

Although the toilet may seem like an easy way, it is not a trash can. Flushing anything that isn’t toilet tissue or waste contributes to home plumbing blockages, septic system issues, city sewer overflows, and increased work for sewer crews and wastewater treatment plants. The word ‘flushable’ means it might not clog your toilet, but when it gets to a sewage treatment plant, the items wrap around the equipment, cause failures, and require treatment plant workers to manually remove the debris.

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The three big unflushables

 

  1. Toxic Materials:
    Disposing of toxic materials in your trash, down the drain, or in the ground can seriously impact our environment and public health. Household hazardous wastes can contaminate septic tanks, wastewater treatment systems, groundwater, and even our drinking water if not disposed of properly. Household hazardous wastes are leftover products that are toxic, ignitable, corrosive, or reactive, such as – cleaners, paint, pesticides, adhesives, polishes, and fuels.

  2. Undissolvable Items:
    While the cleansing cloth packages are labeled as ‘flushable’ and ‘sewer-and-septic-safe’, there are no legal requirements in order to claim that it is and only voluntary guidelines are followed at the discretion of manufacturers. Do not flush any kind of wipes (baby wipes, makeup remover wipes, disinfecting wipes, etc.), cotton swabs, rags/towels, food wrappers, cigarettes, disposable cleaning supplies, diapers, food, rubber gloves, condoms, dental floss, facial tissue, or ANY medication. All of these items end up causing blockages that could cause sewage to backup into homes, spill over into public streets and down storm water drains and into our groundwater, which can become a serious public health safety issue.

  3. Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)
    Fats, oils, and greases (FOG) are byproducts from cooking, butter, baked goods, shortening, dressing, dairy products, etc. Flushing food down the toilet or washing cookware before properly disposing of FOG flushes it all down the drain into the sewer system. Do not use hot water to rinse cookware, utensils, dishes, or surfaces, soap may break up grease while you are washing dishes, but it dissolves as it washes down the drain and the grease solidifies on pipe walls. If the FOG is still in liquid form, wait for it to dry out or freeze it quickly for disposal in the trash within a sealed container.

 

Find your local hazardous waste disposal locations:

http://search.earth911.com

Harris County Household Hazardous Waste

http://eng.hctx.net/watershed/hhw_home.html


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Wet wipes and grease: 
A clogging combination

A 15-ton mass of wet wipes and cooking fat was found clogging sewers under London; layered with grease and strengthened by wet wipes, the mass was extracted from sewers which, undiscovered, could have resulted in public sewage overflows.

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Organizations like the North Texas Grease Abatement Council have been warning citizens for years about pouring fat from a frying pan down the drain. But the latest sewer disaster of wet wipes are taking over as the most expensive sewer problem. The oils and wipes may disappear down the drain, but down in the sewers, a bit of fat will catch and a wet wipe will add on to it and so on.

"But it says 'flushable' on the package!"

Even after a flushability test of 24 hours the wet wipes remained intact and recognizable.The wipe manufacturers testing labs do not simulate the grime and obstructions found in real-world sewage systems, these wipes only began to disintegrate after 35 minutes of constant agitation.

The replacement cost of a typical residential leach field is $40,500 from dealing with unflushable items in sewer systems. Proper disposal can save property owners and the district thousands of dollars and preserve our sewer system.This ‘flushable’ label fails to address the issues that arise once the wipe goes down the pipes, and understanding how this affects your district is the first step towards improving our flushing habits.