Education and Community
Love Your Sewers, Springfield!

Sewer backups can be one of life's unpleasant surprises, but they don't have to be. By showing your sewers some love, and only flushing toilet paper, we can keep Springfield's sewer system healthy.

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) is a leading cause of sewer backups into basements. FOG occurs when cooking fats are poured down the drain and coat the inside of the pipes, eventually forming a blockage.

In response to the number of blockages caused by grease and in order to maintain compliance with U.S. EPA regulations, the Commission began a Fats, Oils and Grease Program to educate residential customers on the hazards of grease clogs in the sewer systems.

To avoid FOG, customers are advised to pour cooking oils and fats into a can or jar, cover it with a lid until the grease congeals, and then toss the can or jar into the trash.

Wipes Clog Pipes

In addition to FOG, there is a new danger to our sewers: “disposable” wipes. Cleaning wipes, baby wipes, and other wipes that are sometimes described as “disposable” or “flushable” generally do not dissolve when flushed. This is because wipes, facial tissue, cotton products, and other paper products are designed to remain in-tact when wet. Instead, they accumulate in sewer systems causing clogs and backups in pipes, pump stations, and treatment plants.

A Suez wastewater worker removes wipes and other clogged materials from a Springfield neighborhood pump station.

It's a Toilet, Not a Trash Can!

The Commission reminds residents that we can all work together to keep our wastewater system free of clogs and prevent unsanitary sewer backups by only disposing of toilet paper in the toilet.

All other materials, personal care products, diapers, dental floss, hair, and wipes should be disposed of in the trash.

Clogs like this can occur in the sewer system when wipes, gloves, paper towels, tissue, cotton products, etc. are flushed down the toilet

Please review these links for more information on how you can keep grease out of Springfield’s sewer systems and avoid costly backups:

Flyer – Best Management Practices for Food Service Establishments
Flyer – Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) and Preventing Sewer Backups for Residences
FOG Regulations from Chapter 1 of the Rules and Regulations
Public Presentation on How to Prevent Sewer Backups
Informational Article on FOG by Springfield Water and Sewer Commission

Please review this short video for kitchen tips to prevent sewer backups during the holiday season:

Cease the Grease this Holiday Season

For more information about the FOG program, please call 413-452-1302