Tips Help Prevent Costly Sewer Back-ups this Holiday Season  

Food scraps, fats and oils washed down the kitchen sink can result in clogged sewer lines and expensive plumbing bills, so the City of Fresno is issuing tips to help residents avoid costly problems this holiday season.

Local property owners are responsible for maintaining the pipes that extend from their home to the City’s main sewer line. In most cases, the underground main line is located at about the mid-point of each residential street. The City is encouraging residents to keep their pipes clean by remembering the following tips for properly disposing of food waste and cooking products:

• Pour fat drippings and kitchen greases into sealable containers and dispose of them in a gray residential garbage cart;

• Avoid putting leftover food down the garbage disposal whenever possible;

• Any waste that can be thrown in the garbage should always be put in the garbage;

• Remember, “Scrape It, Don’t Grind It.”

Even the smallest amount of fat, oil or grease will solidify and stick to sewer pipes, according to staff in the City’s Department of Public Utilities. The residue then catches food and other solids that are washed down sinks and other drains in the home. Over time, the debris builds up and eventually causes a complete blockage of the sewer pipe.

“The holidays pose a particular challenge to keeping our City’s sewer pipes clear,” said Rosa Lau-Staggs from the City of Fresno Wastewater Management Division. “We encourage residents to help keep our system operating smoothly by scraping any remaining food from plates and platters into the trash instead of washing it down the drain.”

More information is available at or by calling 621-5100.