Did You Know… …You can dispose of your expired and unused medicine at any Police Department in Clark County? Drop Boxes are now located in the lobby of the Boulder City Police Department, the City of Henderson Police Department Substations, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department substations, the North Las Vegas Police Department substations and the Mesquite Plice Department substations.
Don’t Rush to Flush! Dispose of your expired medicines properly!
Only public employees may access public manholes for maintenance or monitoring activities. Other, illegal discharges might result in:
Clogged or overflowing sewer lines
Disruption of wastewater treatment plant processes
Damage to sewer lines and laterals
Buildup of toxic gases in the lines
Harmful discharges into the environment
An example of an illegal discharge is a commercial vacuum truck dumping its contents of grease interceptors, sand/oil interceptors and septic tanks into the sewer system. Illegal dumping into public manholes is most likely to occur at night and away from major streets. If you see a potentially unauthorized discharge, please contact the Water Reclamation District at 702-668-8354.
The Clark County Water Reclamation District and the Cities of Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas have teamed up to ask our residents to Just Can It! and help keep cooking fat, oils, grease and grit (FOGG) out of our community’s sewer systems. These agencies maintain extensive collection systems of several thousand miles of pipeline underneath the streets to deliver wastewater from homes, businesses and schools to the treatment facilities.
We call it wastewater, but it is not wasted at all. We reclaim every drop of this valuable resource by treating it to very high levels until suitable for reuse- for golf courses, soccer fields, industrial cooling and, most importantly, for return to Lake Mead and the Colorado River system for Return Flow Credits. In order to clean the water to the very high standards necessary, these agencies must keep the wastewater flowing through the pipelines to reach the plants for treatment.
Q: What is FOGG, and is it a problem?A: FOGG is made up of fat, oil, grease, and grit, and it is a very BIG problem! FOGG does not mix with water because its components are insoluble and have a tendency to separate from a liquid solution. When fat, oil and grease are poured down the drain, they stick to the sewer pipe walls creating layers of buildup that restrict the wastewater flow. This problem requires pipes to be cleaned more frequently, causes pipes to be replaced sooner than expected, and causes blockages that can result in sewer overflows.
Q: How does fat, oil, grease, and grit (FOGG) create a sewer blockage?A: Fat, oil, grease, and grit in a warm, liquid form may appear to be harmless since they flow easily down the drain. However, as the liquid cools, the FOGG solidifies and floats to the top of the other liquid in the sewer pipes. The layer of FOGG sticks to the sewer pipes and over time, the flow of wastewater becomes restricted and can cause a backup or overflow. The gritty particles, including coffee grinds, eggshells, aquarium gravel, grain, rice, seeds, etc. get trapped in the greasy buildup, accelerating the problem rapidly.
Over time, FOGG accumulates in the sewer system in much the same way that cholesterol accumulates in our arteries. As FOGG builds in the pipes, wastewater becomes increasingly restricted. Suddenly, sometimes without warning, a sewer pipe backs up and overflows, similar to a heart attack. The result is a home flooded with sewage, or sewage overflowing in the street, where it flows – untreated – into area waterways.
Q: What products contain fat, oil, grease, and grit (FOGG)A: Fat, oil, grease and grit are natural by-products of the cooking and food preparation process. Common sources include food scraps, meat fats, cooking oils, lard, baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, marinades, dairy products, shortening, butter and margarine, coffee grinds, eggshells, grain, rice, seeds, etc. Anything put through the garbage disposal adds to the buildup.
Q: What can I do to keep fat, oil, grease, and grit (FOGG) out of the sewer and help prevent a grease related sewer overflow from occurring in my house or on my street?A: Everyone plays a role in preventing FOGG from damaging our sewer system. The following easy tips can help prevent a sewer overflow in your home or neighborhood.
Fat, oil, grease, and grit should NEVER be poured down the sink. Sink drains and garbage disposals are not designed to handle these materials properly.
Before washing, scrape and dry wipe pots, pans and dishes with paper towels and dispose of materials in the trash.
Pour fat, oil, grease and grit into a disposable container, such as an empty glass jar or coffee can. Once the liquid has cooled and solidified, secure the lid and place the container in the trash.
Disconnect, or at least minimize use of the garbage disposal to get rid of food scraps. The garbage disposal chops up food into small pieces, but can still cause a blockage in the pipe. Use sink strainers to catch food items, and then empty the strainer into the trash.
Q: Why is it important to dispose of FOGG properly?A: Sewer system maintenance in neighborhoods that experience sewer blockages and backups due to fat, oil, grease, and grit is expensive and can contribute to the amount that customers pay for sewer service. A sewer blockage or backup can also result in expensive repairs to the home.
Q: What should I do if I experience a sewer blockage or overflow?A: Call your sewer service provider at one of the following numbers:
Clark County Water Reclamation District: 702-434-6600
City of Las Vegas: 702-229-6594
City of Henderson: 702-267-2500
City of North Las Vegas: 702-633-1275
Pain in the Drain | Why Flushing is Bad
Why Flushing is a Bad Idea When you flush medication down your drain, it ends up at one of our treatment facilities. These ingredients can remain in the treated water when it is released into the water cycle. When prescription or over-the-counter drugs are flushed down the sink or toilet, their chemical components may be added to the water supply. The presence of these substances in the environment is emerging as an important national and international issue. Although the concentration levels of these products in the environment is very low, research and monitoring are continuing worldwide.
Putting medications down the drain is not just a local concern. Increasingly, prescription and non-prescription medications, many of which are not effectively destroyed by sewage treatment plants, are finding their way into streams and drinking water supplies. A study conducted by the United States Geological Survey found that 80 percent of the 139 streams sampled across 30 states detected very low concentrations of chemicals commonly found in prescription drugs. While the concentration levels of these products are very low, they may be enough to cause adverse effects in the environment and to human health.
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