Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Sewer District News: How to prevent sewer back-ups


We often think of our drains and toilets as an efficient means to get rid of household waste when in fact it is the worst thing to do. Recently there was a sewer back-up into a home and fortunately the homeowner was home to prevent further damage and immediately call us.

The cause of the back-up? Grease had plugged the line. Grease from the entire neighborhood had built up over time and once the grease was down the drain it hardens up and sticks to the cavity of the pipe, and over time it builds on top of itself until it creates a solid wall with nothing able to penetrate it, therefore the wastewater has to go somewhere and of course the most obvious are the drains in a house, it just simply travels back to an outlet.

All Lake Stevens restaurants have a grease trap, reducing the grease going into the pipes; our system for management of this is called F.O.G. — Fats, Oil and Grease. The restaurants must comply with the procedures we have established.

You can have your own program at home by simply putting the grease in an empty container and freezing it or let it harden and toss in the trash. Another recent back-up happened because of twine being dumped in the sewer system.

String, twine, Q-tips and other objects get caught inside the pipes and then they start building up over time. This twine was over 200 feet long!! Please help us help you by keeping pipes clear of foreign matter. Encourage good habits from everyone in order to prevent back-ups.

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