Sewer Overflow Prevention
Protect Your Property
Most sewage overflows occur when sewer lines are blocked by roots, grease, debris, or breakage. Raw sewage can then backup into your home or business, resulting in property damage, health risks, and potential contamination of nearby waterways.
When you see or experience a sewage backup, report it to NapaSan at 707-258-6000, ext. 9. Our crew will respond within 30 minutes, locate the blockage and determine if it is the public sewer (JPEG). If it is, the crew will remove the blockage and end the sewage overflow.
You, as a property owner, are responsible for your plumbing! If the NapaSan crew determines that the problem is in your portion of the lateral line (extending from the property line to your house/business) that connects your plumbing to the public sewer, it is your responsibility, and NapaSan cannot remove the blockage or make repairs. You or a licensed plumber will need to get a permit from NapaSan and make the necessary repairs.
Overflow Protection Device
To prevent sewage from backing up into your home or business, you can install an Overflow Protection Device. This device can prevent sewage from entering your home or business and reroute the spill to outside your building. If you don't have one, you may want to have one installed to avoid smelly and costly sewage overflow clean-ups.
NapaSan recommends that a licensed plumber install the device since elevation and location are critical to its proper operation. Once installed, keep the device accessible and free from obstructions (e.g., vegetation and dirt).
Preventing Sewage Overflows
No Fats, Oils, or Greases (FOG)
A simple way to prevent sewage overflows is to keep FOG out of your drains. Never pour oil or dispose of fats and grease down the drain. Even when washed down with soap and hot water, when the water cools, the FOG solidifies in your pipes. This causes clogged sewer lines, resulting in sewer overflows. The spilled sewage can reach our creeks, the Napa River, and eventually the Bay. Plus it causes a health hazard on our streets!
Luckily, there are some simple tricks for dealing with FOG. These easy steps can protect your sewer pipes and home, while keeping sewage overflows from harming local waterways:
- Collect fats and grease in a compostable container and dispose of it in the compost pail/bin
- Don’t put fatty food scraps down the garbage disposal
- Dry wipe pots and pans containing grease with paper towels before washing, and compost the paper towels
- Never pour fats, oil, or grease down the drain
- Scrape food scraps into the compost pail
- Take used cooking oil (fat and grease can go too) to the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility or Devlin Road Reuse and Recycle Center, where it can be dropped off for free. Or call Napa Recycling at 255-5200 to schedule a free cooking oil pick-up as part of the Recycle More program.
Rethink What You Flush
Flush only toilet paper in the toilet. Dispose of other items in your regular trash. This includes:
- Baby wipes
- Kitty litter
- Make-up pads
- Sanitary products
You get the picture! Even products that are labeled “flushable” should not go down the drain; they can clog your pipes and sewage pump stations, damage equipment, and cause overflows. Remember, the toilet is not a trash can!