San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is committed to keeping the community’s pipes clear and functional. The utility’s sewer-focused message "Pipes Don’t Lie!” reflects an unwavering commitment to making sure sewer lines stay clear and offers valuable insights into helping you avoid sewer disasters.

Three key things to remember
  • The toilet is not a trash can
  • Only the 3-Ps belong in the toilet: pee, poop and (toilet) paper
  • Throwing things in the toilet other than the 3-Ps can damage sewer infrastructure and cause backups into local homes or businesses. The results can be disastrous and expensive.
What not to put down the drain

Beside the problems that fats, oils and grease (FOG) dumped down the drain can cause, toilet wipes and sanitary supplies can also cause pipes to clog. Their labels might say ‘flushable,’ but don’t believe it. So-called ‘flushable’ wipes and sanitary pads cause millions of dollars of damage per year to homes and sewers. Wipes don’t break down like conventional toilet paper.

Even worse, the combination of wipes with grease and debris in the sewer system lead to clogs that act like cement blocking pipes and breaking pumps.

"We’ve seen people’s homes damaged, private and public sewer lines blocked, and expensive sewer pumps burn out and with broken propellers – not to mention the crews’ time and effort required to make repairs,” said Isabel Walters, SAWS communications specialist

Below are more troublemakers when you try to put them through the garbage disposal. Always dispose of these items in the trash.
  • Butter
  • Creams and sauces
  • Frosting
  • Milk
  • Salad dressing
  • Ice cream
  • Chicken skins
What to do with kitchen grease:
  • Pour cooled liquid grease into a sealable container
  • Clean the remaining grease and debris with a paper towel
  • Dispose of wipes and grease in your brown city trash bin
“It’s important to know how to properly dispose of FOG because sewer spills pose so many problems for SAWS and our customers, and FOG accounts for the majority of blockages in our sewer system,” Walters said. “The issue might seem ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ but sewer spills are messy, smelly and costly.

Don't let fats, oils and grease create havoc in our sewer system. Learn more about proper disposal guidelines and why it's crucial to follow them.

The above story was produced by Multi Platform Journalist Holly Galvan with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.