Sewer Smarts

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Sewer Smarts

The health of St. Pete’s sewer system is in all of our hands. Simple everyday actions can help prevent sewer overflows and costly repairs. Are you sewer smart?

The Problem

Each year, hundreds of gallons of sewage overflows in St. Pete are caused by blockages in the pipes from fatbergs, which are congealed masses of fats combined with items that shouldn’t be in the sewer system. These sewage overflows can happen in your home, your neighborhood or in City parks and streets. Cleanup and repair may be at the expense of the homeowner, depending on the location of the sewer blockage.

Be Part of the Solution

Sewage overflows caused by blockages can be prevented, but it takes all of us to make a difference. Everything that goes down your sink, toilet, tub or shower has to make its way through the sewer system. Be kind to your pipes by following these guidelines.

In The Bathroom

Do not flush anything down the toilet except for number 1, number 2 and toilet paper. Everything else should go in the trash. Although wipes advertised as ‘flushable’ can technically be flushed, they don’t easily break down and can cause blockages in the sewer system, leading to sewer backups.

Do not flush these items:

  • Dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Facial tissues
  • Wipes, including those advertised as flushable
  • Paper towels


Never put fats, oils or grease down the drain. This includes butter, frying oils or other cooking fats. Once in the sewer system, these substances congeal and contribute to sewer blockages.

Proper disposal of fats, oils and grease:

  • Collect grease in a container once cooled and dispose in the trash, not down the drain.
  • Remove grease and oils from your pans before washing.
  • Dispose of food scraps in the trash.


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