Sewer Santa is ready for the holiday season. As a representative for The Department of Environmental Services, he advocates for all community members to be responsible and follow proper sewer practices. This season, keep on his nice list and follow the tips below. Just like normal Santa, he knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for sewer's sake!
The Three P's of Flushing Pee, Poo & (toilet) Paper
It often feels like, "if it flushes, what is the harm"? In short, flushing the wrong things down the drain can have a snowball effect on your home or businesses plumbing, the City's sewer infrastructure and even the Wastewater Treatment Plants. That is why we urge everyone to follow the Three P's of Flushing! Pee, Poo and (toilet) Paper are the only items that qualify for flushing!
Never Flush These Items:
Feminine Hygiene Products
Forms of Birth Control
Dental Floss & Picks
Plastic Packaging & Wrappers
Medications & pills
PET FISH (or any pet)
NO STINK IN THE SINK: don't cause a pain in the drain
It's normal for a little food to go down the drain in the kitchen, but even if you have a garbage disposal, the sink is not an ideal place to dispose of certain substances. Rather than washing or flushing away unused goods, proper disposal is key to prevent clogged pipes, costly plumber bills and sewer infrastructure issues throughout our City. Even a garbage disposal won't eliminate the negative effects that food, fats, oils and grease can cause on our plumbing and City's sewers.
Never wash these down the drain:
Medications & pills
BITE-SIZE FACTS: Not actual snacks from the sewer
Like a Christmas cookie for left overnight for Santa, these sewer snacks are little morsels of bite-size facts about Springfield's Sanitary Sewer System. This includes the infrastructure, like sewer laterals and mains, that flow our wastewater from the homes and businesses across the City and through one of two award-winning wastewater treatment plants.
Dash on over periodically to see new 'sewer snacks' posted over time!
SEWER SNACK #1:
The City wastewater collection system consists of 1,200+ miles of sewer pipe. That is all located under our City streets, sidewalks and green spaces. If we were to stretch all of those pipes out into a line, we would be able to reach, and pass, the Canadian and Mexico borders. Here are a few destinations we could reach with all of our sewer pipes.
1,200 miles of pipe would reach these destinations:
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Salt Lake City, Utah
Grand Teton national park, wyoming
winnipeg, manitoba, canada
ottawa, ontario, canada
new york city, new york
Palm Beach, Florida
SEWER SNACK #2:
It's not uncommon for property owners to be unfamiliar with sewer laterals and unaware that they are responsible when problems arise. Sewer laterals are the pipes that connect every home and business to the public sanitary sewer system. Wastewater from toilets, sinks and appliances go down the drain and run through the lateral and into the City's sewer main. When a sewer lateral breaks or is blocked, the owner is required to manage the repairs and maintenance.
What can residents do to care for their lateral:
Follow the three-P's of flushing
Keep the stink out of the sink
Schedule a sewer lateral inspection
Call a licensed plumbing professional
Repair any defects
Unblock any clogs
No magic needed, only elbow grease & sanitizer
Like any good superhero - has a sidekick. He has a lot of sidekicks - or as Santa calls them, helpers. A smooth-running sanitary sewer system requires helpers like specialized equipment, vehicles, and infrastructure.
However, it is the men and women who dedicate every day to maintaining, repairing, and monitoring our sanitary sewer system who deserve the most credit - even more than Sewer Santa, himself.
Who needs elves and reindeer when you have the staff, vehicles and equipment that we have?