Prevent Clogged Pipes During the Holidays And Year-Round

Courtesy of Jurupa Community Services District


Scraps of turkey, stuffing, potato peels, and other uneaten remnants of Thanksgiving are usually the culprits for a busy holiday season for plumbers across the nation and also for Jurupa Community Services District crews.

From Thanksgiving Day through the New Year celebrations, it’s a very busy time for JCSD’s Sewer Operations team.

Families across the JCSD service area will be hosting holiday feasts that result in an increase in cooking, eating, and disposing of large amounts of food over a short period of time. Additionally, many families will have an increase in guests which equates to the extra usage of showers, toilets, washing machines, and sinks.

Wastewater leaves a home through a lateral line which falls under the responsibility of residents. The main sewer line, which serves multiple homes, is the responsibility of JCSD. Residents count on lateral lines, which are usually 4-inches in diameter, to transport wastewater to main sewer lines.

Before disposing of any items down the drain or the toilet, keep in mind that only sanitary and liquid waste should be discharged into the sewer system.

The main culprit for clogged pipes is grease. When grease makes its way into sewer pipes, it cools, solidifies and sticks to pipe walls, eventually causing a clog. Grease also binds to other items in the sewer, such as roots and solid items that should not enter the sewer system. Food waste disposed of in the “garbage disposal” is a common cause of lateral blockages during the holidays. Solid food waste should be disposed of in the trash can, rather than the sink.

With Thanksgiving Day and other holiday celebrations around the corner, it’s important to keep these tips in mind, so you can spend more time with your family and less time contacting a plumber or JCSD:

  • Place food preparation and leftover waste in the trash instead of kitchen sinks. Use strainers to capture food preparation wastes before they go down the drain. Scrape all leftovers you may have on your plate into the trash before washing your plate.
  • Never pour fats, oils or grease down drains. The safest way to dispose of kitchen grease is through the trash. Make sure the grease has cooled down before disposing of it in the trash.
  • Never flush so-called “flushable wipes,” cotton balls, swabs, feminine hygiene products, or facial scrub pads down the toilet. They do not dissolve and can cause clogs. The only solid waste that should be flushed is toilet paper and human waste!

When sewer problems arise, residents should first call JCSD at (951) 685-7434, so the main sewer can be checked. JCSD’s main phone line is answered on holidays and after regular business hours. JCSD will conduct an inspection to determine if the stoppage is in the main or the lateral line. If the main sewer is clear, the resident will need to contact a plumber or sewer contractor to clear the lateral line. Although there is no extra charge for JCSD to check the main line on a holiday, residents will be responsible for the cost of contacting a contractor or plumber regardless of the location of the stoppage.