How to keep drains clog-free this Thanksgiving weekend
The City of Regina is sending out reminders for residents to help keep their drains clog-free over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The city said the accumulation of fats, oils, grease and food can harden and eventually lead to a blockage in the piping system, which could impact residents.
“We try to put out the messaging around Thanksgiving because people are generally having turkey at Thanksgiving and then there’s the leftover gravy. That should be scraped, once it’s cooled, into a container and put into the garbage,” Helene Henning-Hill, manager of sewer and drainage operations with the city, said. “Fats, oils and grease can actually set up in our piping system and then it becomes a plug.”
She said high fat foods including bacon grease, mayonnaise, coffee cream and gravy, should never be poured down a drain.
In addition, the city said flushing the wrong things down the toilet can also lead to sewage backups.
“Things start to get added into that grease when you start to flush things that don’t belong in the toilet,” she said, adding only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed. “Flushing Q-tips, hair, sanitary products, condoms and things of that nature start to cling to the grease and then we’ve got a real problem happening.”
She said all of these steps will help keep blockages away.
“And preventing those big fatbergs. We don’t want to see those because obviously we don’t want to have a sewage backup,” she said.
A fatberg is a very large mass of solid waste in a sewage system. The city of Moose Jaw recently battled its own fatberg that could have affected about half the population had it not been cleared.
“We received some calls from some local businesses in the area that were seeing some backup happening in their buildings so at that point we deployed crews to investigate,” Darrin Stephanson, the director of public works and utilities with the city of Moose Jaw, said. “We determined we had a blockage in one of our main sanitary trunks that is responsible for moving a lot of the sewage for the middle portion of the city.”
Crews were able to break the fatberg up and remove it from the line before it impacted many residents.
Stephanson said they found what would typically be inside sanitary sewers.
“You get that oil and grease build up, fat build up that comes from residential users or business users. It starts to collect and harden in the system and then other items start to collect on it from there,” he explained.
He said a blockage of this size is rare.
“These type of blockages are fairly common in your smaller domestic lines of the six and eight inch variety. We don’t typically see it in our 24 inch or larger trunks,” he said. “It’s certainly a more rare event for us.”
He said residents should not flush wet wipes, feminine hygiene products or cooking products down their drains, toilets or showers in order to prevent buildups like this in the future.