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How You Can Protect Our Pipes!

Help prevent harmful sewer overflows in Houston’s communities.

Presented by Houston Public Works November 2, 2020

What goes in, must come out ... but often not without damage first.

Have you ever wondered if you just rinsed or flushed something you shouldn’t have down the drain? You’re not alone! Unfortunately, rinsing and flushing clog-causing products such as cooking grease and wipes can clog our pipes and causes sewer overflows in Houston every day. These clogs are expensive to repair, can make us sick, and pollute our environment.

Luckily, while these overflows are common, they are also preventable. Here’s what you need to know about sewer overflows and what you can do to prevent them.

How to prevent sewer overflows in your community

The best way to prevent sewage overflows is to make sure you properly dispose of grease, oils, and fats. Put grease in its place—the trash, and never down the drain. To do this, just Pour, Cool, and Toss!

  • Pour: Scrape or pour grease into an empty container, such as a tin can, a glass jar, or a heat-resistant bag.
  • Cool: Let the grease cool, and cover it. Store in the fridge until the container is full.
  • Toss: Once full, toss the container directly in the trash can.

Also, remember to only flush the "3 P's"

  • Pee: Pee and poo are treated at our wastewater treatment plants.
  • Poo: Poo breaks down and doesn’t clog our wastewater pipes.
  • Paper: Toilet paper dissolves in water.

Many “harmless” products can cause serious damage to your plumbing system, which can back up into wastewater lines and cause contamination. When in doubt, put items in the trash.

Some household items to avoid flushing

  • All wipes: wet wipes, sanitary wipes, baby wipes, etc.
  • Paper towels
  • Feminine products
  • Diapers
  • Face tissues
  • Cleaning and disinfectant items (including rags and gloves)

For more information

Visit www.ProtectOurPipes.org to learn more! Email [email protected] or call 832-395-3790 to request a presentation or materials to share with your community. 

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