Utilities Educational Outreach
The Utilities Department maintains several educational outreach programs. More information, downloadable documents and videos are available below.
The state building code requires a backflow valve if plumbing fixtures are below the top of the first upstream manhole on the street. A properly operating valve allows flow in one direction, preventing wastewater from entering the building during sewer system maintenance or backups. Consult a builder or plumber to find out if a particular building is required to have a backflow valve.
Fats, oil and grease
Fats, oil and grease poured down the drain will collect and stick to plumbing and sewer lines. Over time, lines can become blocked, causing sewer backups or overflows. The following practices can help prevent this:
- Discarding used fats, oil and grease with other garbage.
- Minimizing use of garbage disposals.
- Scraping plates into trash cans.
- Using paper towels to wipe leftover oils and fats from pots and pans.
No wipes in the pipes
Only waste and toilet paper should be flushed. Household cleaning and personal hygiene products labeled as flushable or safe for sewer or septic systems do not dissolve. They clog sewer lines and can damage sewer pumps and other equipment.