Ways to help avoid pipes getting backed up this winter


PipesRAPID CITY, S.D.– With the holiday season a popular time for baking and cooking, the city of Rapid City is reminding residents to “be kind to their pipes.” Superintendent for the city’s water reclamation center Dave Van Cleave has some advice for residents.

Why it is important to be careful

When materials like grease, fats, and other objects go down drains and toilets, they can collect and cause blockages that can be costly to repair. “Sewer backups in Rapid City have typically averaged around $5000. And so it can cause a lot of damage when they back up and that’s just the part that the city helps with. You know, you may have irreplaceable things in your home that may get backed into. And so it’s the kind of thing you just don’t want to have happen. And so a little maintenance goes a long way.”

What to do to prevent sewer lines backing up

According to Van Cleave, two of the best things to do are to dispose of liquids like oils and grease in a container and throwing it in the trash once solidified. For smaller amounts, wipe down the pan or object that was used with a paper towel and then throw in the trash. These materials should never be dumped down the sink.

What about products that claim to be flushable?

Products like flushable wipes are flushable as they say, but Van Cleave says that only toilet paper should go down the toilet. Anything that is not toilet paper can cause eventual blockages and damage to the lines. “They combine with the grease and then they make a pretty solid plug. And then it backs up on you.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News