Ever think about your sewer system? No? No surprise there. Most people don’t give it a second thought. Out of sight and out of mind is the way we like it … right? Of course, yes, but totally out of mind could be costly in the long run.

Your home’s sewer system line works by gravity. It slopes down to meet the main sewer line, usually in the street in front of your house. If plant roots, debris, or a buildup of fats, oils and grease (FOG) clog the line, sewage will eventually flow back up into the house through the lowest drain or toilet.

​Taking simple action to reduce potential sewage spills which can create a stinky mess in your home and be extremely expensive to clean-up. In some cases, substantial back-ups can lead to sewage draining down the curb and into the stormwater system that can contaminate nearby creeks.

Fats, Oils & Grease

One of the most important things you can do to keep your sewer pipes clear is to properly dispose of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) by following these easy steps:

  • Scrape greasy pans and dishes into the trash before washing
  • Use sink strainers to catch food items and empty into the trash
  • Pour FOG into a sealable, non-breakable container and contact us for pick up at (916) 774-5780

Flushable wipes

​Disposable disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, and even “flushable” wipes cause serious problems in the sanitary sewer system. They simply do not break down easily (or at all) once they are flushed. Paper products other than toilet paper (e.g., paper towels) also do not break down once in the sewer line. No matter what the label says, don’t flush them, instead trash them.

Other things to consider trashing:
  • Rags and paper towels
  • Disposable dusters and cleaning wipes
  • Diapers
  • Coffee grounds and egg shells
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Dental floss

Don’t flush these, either
In addition to wipes, be sure not to flush paints, solvents or medications down the toilet.

  • Dispose of paint and other Household Hazardous Materials at a proper waste disposal site
  • Old or expired medication can be disposed of at certain drug stores and Placer County sponsors two Take Back Days annually to dispose of drugs properly.

Sewer lines and trees

Trees and shrubs planted directly over a sewer line can twist the line and create openings for roots to get in. Make sure you know where your sewer line runs and avoid planting any trees or shrubs directly over the line.

Please check with the wastewater collections division before planting landscaping or planting. Contact us at (916) 774-5750.

Did you know?
Tree roots seek out the water and nutrients contained within sewer lines and will work their way in through cracks and seams. As roots grow, they can eventually clog the sewer line, but even small roots can create clogs by catching wipes, FOG, cotton swabs, and other items that shouldn’t be