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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HELPFUL TIPS
 

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.
 

 

WHAT IS SANITARY SEWER OVERFLOW?

 

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.

 

 
 
 
 
IF THE TOILET IS BACKED UP OR OVERFLOWING

 

If there is a sewer overflow, check the cleanout cap. These white caps are usually located outdoors and are often sticking out of the ground just outside the building foundation. These caps connect the building pipes to the city wastewater system.

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Call a certified plumber if:

 

* the cleanout cap is clear, or

* there are two caps and the cap closer to the home is full of water but the lower cap closer to the street is clear.

 

Call 311 for all other wastewater issues and an investigator will be called to help.

 

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.

 

RESOURCES TO TAKE ACTION

 

 

Request a presentation ProtectOurPipes@houstontx.gov

 

 

Share these free, downloadable resources with your friends, family, and community.

 

For more ways to get involved, email us at ProtectOurPipes@Houstontx.gov

 

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