Be Sewer Smart


Reliable service starts at home. What you do in the home matters: to our system, the environment and even to your rates. Every time you use a faucet or flush a toilet you are creating wastewater; an average family will send approximately 200 gallons down the drain every day. Practice these easy tips to keep your service running smoothly and affordably.

Knowing what FOGGs are will help keep you from introducing these into the sewer system:

  • Fats: salad dressing, mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, creamer, butter, gravy
  • Oils: cooking oils, lard, shortening
  • Grease: meat juices, frying grease, pan drippings
  • Grit: egg shells, sand, plant material, food scraps

Visit these helpful websites to learn more about why what you flush down the toilet or pour down the drain matters.

NEVER put these in your disposal:

  • hard shells from shellfish
  • un-popped popcorn kernels
  • hard bones
  • banana peel
  • celery
  • corn cobs
  • artichokes
  • coffee grounds
  • fruit pits
  • avocado
  • seeds
  • egg shells
  • onion skins
  • pasta
  • rice
  • rags
  • trash (candy wrapper, paper scraps)

What you pour down the drain mattersVisit these helpful websites to learn more about why what you pour down the drain matters.

Not a Trash CanIn the bathroom you will see how easy it is to prevent plumbing backups:

  • Do Have a trashcan in the bathroom, so nobody’s tempted to flush.
  • Do Remember only to flush the three P’s – pee, poo & toilet paper.
  • Do place Wipes, Kleenex tissues, feminine products and diapers in the trashcan.

Visit these helpful websites to learn more about why what you flush down the toilet or pour down the drain matters.

What Not To Flush
To Flush or Not to Flush; That is the Question
Please Don't Flush Wipes Down the Toilet!

Side Sewer Application

The sewer lateral connects your home plumbing with the District's main sewer line. A number of things can compromise a lateral. Foreign substances or objects such as grease or disposable wipes flushed down a toilet can create a clog. Tree roots occasionally push through the side of a lateral. Or, over time, a very old sewer lateral pipe can simply corrode and crack. The District maintains an extensive database of sewer permit drawings showing the location of most laterals.

Request a copy of your side sewer permit by Contacting us online or simply call 360-750-5876 and ask for Engineering. When filling out the online form be sure to select “Receive a copy of my side sewer permit” in the *** Select a topic *** drop-down menu.

Roots Diagram

The replacement cost related to sewer lateral damage by tree roots can vary from $1,000 to $10,000; not to mention the damage it can cause in your home.

Mature trees add beauty and shade to the landscape, but their roots can cause extensive damage to your sewer lateral. Tree roots can be very aggressive in their search for nutrients and moisture, especially during the dry season. Tree roots are attracted by water vapor that escapes from pipes to the cold soil surrounding them. Once the roots have pried their way into your sewer lateral, they fill pipes completely with hair-like masses. Wipes, grease, and other debris in sewage get caught in the roots, eventually leading to a complete obstruction.

Visit these informative websites to learn more about Planting Wise:

Roots taking over a sewer line

A picture of roots taking over a sewer line in the District service area.

Root ball

A root ball removed from a line by District staff.

To ensure reliable and affordable service, make sure NOT to flush any of the following items:

  • Cloth rags
  • Paper towels
  • Dental floss
  • Human or animal hair
  • Latex
  • Hygiene products
  • Baby wipes
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Diapers

All of these items have been found in clogged pumps. Plus, they will end up in the landfill once they’ve been cleaned out of the sewer system (at a cost to our ratepayers). In 2013, over 180 tons of trash and grit were removed from the sewer system at the sewage treatment plant and sent to the landfill. Please consider saving time and money and helping maintain reliable service by putting them directly into your trash can.

Visit these helpful websites to learn more about how important it is to keep harmful items out of the sewer system:

“Flushable” Wipes Clog Pumps
Strangled by Disposables
Prevent Clogged Toilet

District Staff

If you have a sewage backing up into your home, call the District. District staff will gather important and helpful information from you to determine the best response and may even be able to talk you through solving the problem yourself. That’s standard operating procedure. It helps to know whether it is your (private) line, or sewer lateral, or a street (public) line that is causing the problem because each requires dispatching a different set of tools/equipment – and the District wants to ensure there is NO WASTED TIME in solving your sewer problem. While your sewer lateral is your responsibility, the District can provide helpful direction and advice on correcting the problem.

If the public line is the problem, the District will promptly dispatch personnel to resolve the issue.