By its very nature, sewage has a BAD odor. To control the odor in our homes and business, plumbing is installed with “traps” to prevent the odors from reaching buildings. There are various types of traps that can be used, such as a “P Trap” and “S Traps”. Another may be a “Bell Trap” which is usually found in basement floors.
All traps have one thing in common which is to help “trap” sewer gases from passing through. When sewer odors occur, it usually means that the water has evaporated or leaked out of the trap allowing the gases to pass through.
TIP! In drains, pour some water into drains that don’t get used often.
How many times have you been tempted to pour bacon grease or some other type down the drain? You may think, “I’ll just rinse it with plenty of hot water and it will be GONE”. WELL THINK AGAIN! When that grease gets into the sewer lines, it can cool quickly, even when flushed with hot water. Once it cools, it starts to form a layer on the inside of the sewer pipe, slowing it’s flow. When enough grease accumulates and the sewer line becomes blocked the line will begin to back up into your HOME! If this blockage is in your customer service pipe, it may mean a service call from a plumber costing you hundreds possibly even thousands of dollars. If the grease takes longer to cool, it accumulates even further downstream in the District’s sewer collection system lines and lift stations causing troublesome and very expensive maintenance nightmares for our personnel resulting only in your sewer rates to increase! To properly dispose of cooking grease, pour it into another container which you can throw away in the trash when it cools.
Wipes (antibacterial, baby, hand, furniture, bathroom, cleaning, etc.), cooking oils/grease, cloth rags, dish towels, paper towels, handkerchiefs, bandannas, latex/rubber gloves, under garments, bed pads, feminine hygiene products, toys/plastics, shop towels, contraceptive products are all examples of unusual waste products. These products should be disposed of properly and taken out as household trash. The sanitary sewer system is only designed for human waste and biodegradable products as toilet paper. These unusual wastes are only creating higher maintenance costs for the District personnel to maintain your sanitary sewer system and again, you guessed it, an increase in your sewer rates!
One of the ongoing problems that are faced by sewer workers and the treatment plant, is customers disposing of chemicals in the sewer. This is a very hazardous practice! Pouring a small amount of gasoline or paint thinner down the sewer system can create an explosive condition. Fumes from spent chemicals can seep into other homes through defective traps and cause possible explosions.
Sewer workers often must enter manholes for maintenance and cleaning. Chemicals that are poured into the sewer, can use up the oxygen in the manhole and create a toxic or even an explosive atmosphere that can injure or KILL a sewer worker.
At the treatment plant, these chemicals can create a toxic environment for our biological treatment. This eventually can cause problems with our operations which can lead to an upset in conditions. This condition can result in the plant exceeding it’s permitted levels and allowing pollution to enter the streams.
Remember to dispose of all chemicals in a proper manner. Don’t pour chemicals down the DRAIN!!!