Courtesy photo by CWEA
Wipes are among the leading causes of sewer system backups, impacting sewer system and treatment plant pumps and treatment systems. Many spills go to our lakes, rivers, and oceans where they have broad ranging impacts on public-health and the environment. Preventing sewer spills is important, especially during this COVID-19 emergency, for the protection of public health and the environment.
Please do not flush disinfectant wipes or paper towels down the toilet.
Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities. Even wipes labeled “flushable” will clog pipes and interfere with sewage collection and treatment throughout the state.
Wastewater treatment facilities around the state already are reporting issues with their sewer management collection systems. These facilities are asking state residents to not discard wipes in the toilet, but instead to throw them in the trash to avoid backups and overflow. A majority of urban centers are on centralized sewage collection systems depend on gravity and enough water flow to move along human waste and biodegrable toilet paper. The systems were not designed for individual nylon wipes and paper towels. The wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and therefore clog systems very quickly.
Click on this important and informational video on No Wipes in the Pipes.
TUD’s sewer or wastewater system serves over 12,030 single family equivalent sewer connections and treats 1.2 million gallons of sewage daily at the Regional Plant located in Sonora. The District utilizes approximately 140 miles of pipeline to collect between 400-500 million gallons of sewage per year.
How exactly does a Private Sewer Lateral work and what is your responsibility? Click the brochure below, TUD Private Sewer Lateral Brochure to find out.
If you are moving or have a change to your existing water/sewer service, just give one of our friendly customer service members a call at 532-5536 (Monday thru Friday, 7am to 4pm) and they will be glad to setup your account. If you do not have a water or sewer connection, please visit the New Water/Sewer Services page and meet with our customer service engineer (located at the TUD office) to determine connection fees.
Why? Protect yourself, your home and your business by installing a sewer-relief valve. In recent years we have noticed a sharp increase in the number of sewage overflows into homes and businesses caused by roots, grease and general sewer pipeline deterioration. When a sewer blockage occurs in a private sewer pipeline or in a public sewer main, sewage backs up until it finds the lowest point to escape. That can be your shower, toilet or sink in your home or business.
Prevention: Damage resulting from sewage backing up into a home or business can easily be prevented by installing a Sewer-Relief Valve in the sewer pipeline serving your property. The Sewer-Relief Valve allows sewage to overflow outside your home or business instead of inside. The cost of having the Sewer-Relief Valve installed is small compared with the cost of cleaning up a sewage spill in your home or business.
Contact TUD: Sewer-Relief Valves are available free of charge, one per customer, at the TUD office. TUD staff can assist you (free of charge) in locating your sewer cleanout and if not found, can identify the location where one should be installed.
Grease: Grease builds up inside and eventually blocks sewer pipes. Grease gets into the sewer from household drains, as well as from poorly maintained commercial grease traps and interceptors. Grease is the most common cause of pipe blockages. How to prevent grease building up? Do not put grease down drains. Wipe down or scrape plates, pans, etc. into grease can. Once the grease and or can is cool, dispose of it in your garbage.
Structure problems: There can be many reasons for a sewer backup, many of them are caused by structure problems caused by tree roots in the lines, broken/cracked pipes, missing or broken cleanout caps, or undersized sewers can cause blockages.
Tuolumne Utilities District has recently adopted a Fats, Oils and Grease Control Program.