Protect Our Pipes

70% of sewer overflows in Houston are caused by clogs from fats, oils and grease poured down the drain and wipes flushed down toilets.
Sewer overflows can cost thousands of dollars to repair, harm our health, and pollute the environment. Protect our pipes, put grease in its place & prevent sewer overflows through these easy steps!

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Use a sink strainer.


Sink strainers prevent food scraps, hair, and other items from going down the drain. .


Use a paper towel or scraper.


Paper towels and scrapers can be used to wipe grease from pots, pans, plates and utensils before washing. Throw the paper towel in the trash.


Keep all unnecessary items out of the toilet or drain.


Only the 3P’s (Pee, Poo, and Toilet Paper), soap, and water should be flushed or washed down the drain.




A sewer overflow is a backup of raw wastewater than can contaminate water, cause property damage, and threaten public health. Houston experiences hundreds of sewer overflows each year.




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Simply check your cleanout located at the street. If sewer water is standing by the pipe, then call 311 or submit a 311 request here. If there is no sewer water standing by the cleanout, then it is a sewer blockage on your private line and suggest you immediately contact a certified plumber to address your needs.
Cleanouts are used to mark the limits of the City’s public collection system and if you have one, they are found along public spaces. Cleanouts are typically white plastic pipe with threaded or pull-off caps (see photo). In some situations, metal covers are placed overtop for added protection.




Problems with private wastewater pipes, which are typically closer to the home, are the responsibility of the homeowner. Problems with public pipes or those on a public right-of-way are the responsibility of Houston Public Works.


Commercial Kitchens


Restaurants, cafeterias, and commercial kitchens are regulated by City Code and inspected at least annually by the Houston Health Department.
Commercial kitchens and businesses that generate grease must be permitted and are required to install grease traps that must be cleaned every 90 days unless a waiver is submitted and approved by the Houston Health Department. For more information on commercial kitchen requirements, you can visit the Consumer Health Services website and check out the Special Waste Program.





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Protect Our Pipes Information Graphic (English) DOWNLOAD
Protect Our Pipes Information Graphic (Spanish) DOWNLOAD
Protect Our Pipes Frequently Asked Questions (English) DOWNLOAD
Protect Our Pipes Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish) DOWNLOAD
Protect Our Pipes Flyer (English / Spanish) DOWNLOAD
Protect Our Pipes Bathroom Stall Sign DOWNLOAD
Spanish Resources DOWNLOAD
Mandarin Resources DOWNLOAD
Vietnamese Resources DOWNLOAD
Arabic Resources DOWNLOAD