Protecting Our Pipes:: It Starts at Home

We are proud to partner with Houston Public Works to learn how we can all protect our sewage systems in Houston.

There are many things we can be doing as a family to help better our environment and community within our home and during day-to-day tasks. Recycling, turning off lights to help conserve energy, carpooling quickly come to mind… but have you considered what you’re rinsing down the drain or flushing down the toilet that then go into our city’s pipes? Well, you’re not alone!

Protecting Our Pipes:: It Starts at Home

Unfortunately rinsing and flushing clog-causing products such as cooking grease and wipes can clog our pipes and causes sewer overflows in Houston every day. These clogs are expensive to repair, can make us sick, and pollute our environment. Luckily, while these overflows are common they are also preventable. Here’s what you need to know about sewer overflows and what you can do to prevent them. 

Protecting Our Pipes:: It Starts at Home

How to Prevent Sewer Overflows in Your Community

The best way to prevent sewage overflows is to make sure you properly dispose of grease, oils, and fats. Put grease in its place—the trash, and never down the drain. To do this, just pour, cool, and toss!

  • Pour. Scrape or pour grease into an empty container, such as a tin can, glass jar, or a heat resistant bag. 
  • Cool.  Let the grease cool and cover it. Store in the fridge until the container is full.
  • Toss.  Once full, toss the container directly in the trash can.

Also, remember to only flush the 3 P’s:

  • Pee. Pee and poo are treated at our wastewater treatment plants.
  • Poo. Poo breaks down and doesn’t clog our wastewater pipes.
  • Paper. Toilet paper dissolves in water.

Many “harmless” products can cause serious damage to your plumbing system, which can back up into wastewater lines and cause contamination. When in doubt, put items in the trash.  

Some household items to avoid flushing:

  • All Wipes – wet wipes, sanitary wipes, baby wipes, etc.
  • Paper Towels
  • Feminine Products 
  • Diapers 
  • Face Tissues
  • Cleaning and disinfectant Items (including rags and gloves)

Connect with Houston Public Works…

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Learn more at to learn more!
Email [email protected] or call 832-395-3790
to request a presentation or materials to share with your community.

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Ann Herlocher
Ann grew up in central Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State, where she met and later married her husband, Cory. They moved to Houston in 2007 and she started working in the nonprofit sector handling communications and marketing. She’s mom to three kids, Jack {June 2104}, Colin {September 2016}, and Abby {April 2019} and had every intention of being a working mom, but several months after their first was born her husband’s job led them to Calgary, Alberta Canada. After moving back to the area in September 2017, they gave up their previous inner loop status for suburban roots and are living in Spring. In her free time, Ann loves starting projects she never seems to finish, reading a good book and binge watching something other than Frozen or Dino Dan. Connect with her via Instagram {@annherlocher}.


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