Protecting Our Sanitary Sewer System

On behalf of our Sewer Department,

We are asking all town of Penfield residents and commercial property owners to please be conscious of what is being disposed of down the toilets and sinks of your homes and businesses. The Town of Penfield Sewer Department has been having major issues with baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, latex and nitrile gloves, face masks, grease, and sanitary products clogging sanitary sewer laterals, mains, and pump stations.

Over the last few months, Town employees have spent numerous hours cleaning and repairing various laterals, mains, and pumps in the pump stations due to disposal of items that should not be disposed of in the Town’s sanitary sewer system. If this continues, there is a strong possibility that your home or business could be subject to a sewer backup—an unsanitary, unpleasant, and costly experience you do not want to have.

Most backups and blockages can be prevented by following these steps:

Do not pour grease down the drain

- Cooking grease that hardens in the sewer pipes and creates a plug causes most blockages within lateral pipes. Do not pour grease, fats, or oils down the sink drain. Hot water will not melt fat away; instead, scrape fats, oils, and grease from plates and pans into a covered container and put in the trash. If necessary, store it in the refrigerator until garbage collection day.

- Put food scraps in the garbage, or compost them, to reduce the amount of garbage in your trash can. Use the garbage disposal sparingly.

Do not dispose of baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, household cleaning wipes, paper towels, latex and nitrile gloves, face masks, diapers, Q-tips, tampons, applicators, sanitary napkins, eggshells, or coffee grounds. These items may pass through the toilets, drains, and garbage disposals without any problems but will eventually cause problems within sewer lateral pipes or the Town’s sanitary sewer system and pump stations. Per Town Code, Section 180-14 (Prohibited Discharges), it is illegal to dispose of these items into the Town’s sanitary sewer system.

Thank you for your help in this matter, with your cooperation we can reduce the overall maintenance cost and minimize any possible backups in your home. If you have any questions, please call the Town of Penfield Sewer Department at 340-8615.