Grease Blockage Leads to Manhole Overflow
On February 10, 2020, The City of Valdosta Utilities Department staff responded to a call concerning a manhole discharge at the 2400 block of Patterson Street.
The cause of the spill was determined to be a grease blockage resulting in approximately 200 gallons of sewage to enter a storm drain that discharges into Two Mile Branch. The blockage was caused by a buildup of fats, oils, and grease that accumulated inside the sewer line.
City staff were able to capture and recover a large portion of the discharge before it entered state waters. The blockage was cleared and the site and its discharge point were cleaned and disinfected.
Although the level of potential contamination to the area is minimal, the public is advised to avoid contact with the water adjacent to 2400 block of North Patterson Street for the next seven days.
All appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified, and warning signs have been posted at that location.
The City’s FOG Prevention Division continues to urge all customers to refrain from dumping waste cooking fats, oils and grease (FOG) down their home or business drains for the protection of their personal property, as well as the public sanitary sewer collection system. City staff will continue distributing educational door hangers to homes and businesses in the general area to inform citizens on how to properly dispose of cooking fats, oils and grease and how they can prevent this occurrence in the future.
We need your help to prevent Fats, Oils and Grease from causing blockages in the sewer system
Fats, oils and grease do not mix well with water and easily adhere to the walls of underground pipes when washed down the drain as liquids. As they cool, these substances solidify and adhere to the pipes interior. If allowed, over time the grease builds up and cause blockages which in turn cause overflows and breaks in the pipes.
For Residential Customers
Never Pour Fats, Oil or Grease Down the Drain
- Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) clog pipes at your house and in City’s utility infrastructure system. The blockage can cause raw sewage to back up into your home, your yard, your streets and waterways.
- Grease in your pipes leads to increased plumbing costs.
- Money spent on costly cleanups of sewage spills leads to increased utility bills.
What You Can Do With Your Leftover Fats, Oil and Grease
- Discard leftover fat, oil or grease into the trash.
If you put F.O.G into the trash:
- Pour cooled grease into an empty can or plastic container before tossing it in the trash.
- Scrape food scraps from dishes into the trash.
- Collect leftover or expired oils (salad dressing, cooking oils, etc.) in containers; absorb liquids with coffee grounds, cat litter or paper towels; toss in trash.
- Use rubber scrapers and paper towels to remove oil and grease from cookware.
- Avoid using a garbage disposal.
- Put baskets or strainers into sinks to catch food scraps and then empty them in the trash.
Individuals with questions should contact Environmental Manager Scott Fowler at 229-259-3592 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.