How can I protect myself from sewer blockages?

To avoid experiencing sewer blockages in your private service and interior plumbing, be sure to use the toilets and drains properly. 

Here are some common mistakes:

1. (Not so) flushable products – Only dispose of toilet tissue in your toilet. Although “flushable” wipes and some feminine hygiene products are marketed as “flushable,” these products do not break down in the sewer. These products are responsible for blockages of interior plumbing, sewer services, mains, and pumps. Avoid using the toilet as a wastebasket.

2. Grease, oils, and fats – Avoid pouring grease, cooking oil, or other fat-containing liquids down your drains, as these are some of the leading causes of drain clogging. If grease is accidentally poured down your drains, run hot water for a few minutes to flush the lines and prevent it from hardening in the interior plumbing or sewer service. Although this is not a guaranteed solution, it may help prevent buildup. Instead, allow grease, oils, and other fats to cool in the pan or a heat-resistant container, then wipe them into the wastebasket with a disposable cloth like a paper napkin or paper towel. Commercial properties in the food industry should also have grease traps installed which should be cleaned regularly to prevent grease from entering the City’s sewer mains.

3. Hair - Hair is a very common cause of blockages in interior plumbing and private sewer services. Be sure to cover bath and shower drains with a strainer or removable hair catcher and clean and dispose of hair frequently. 

4. Check valves - Blockages in the City's sewer main can affect your property when drains are located below the sewer pipe level. In this case, or if you’ve experienced previous backups from the City sewer, it is recommended to have a check valve installed on your property. This device prevents sewage from backing up into any fixtures below the level of the sewer main. 

Show All Answers

1. Where can I find a list of the City of Framingham's Licensed Drainlayers? How do I become a Licensed Drainlayer?
2. What do I do if I see sewage in my house, yard, or in the street?
3. Who is responsible for my sewer service?
4. How do I know if I have a sewer blockage?
5. How can I protect myself from sewer blockages?
6. What is okay to flush down my toilet?
7. What is NOT okay to put in the sewer system?
8. Can I connect my sump pump to the sewer?
9. What do I do if a City manhole cover is making noise, visibly damaged, or missing?
10. Am I allowed to open a manhole cover myself?