Storm drains in Alabaster drain directly into Buck Creek, which is a popular recreation area for many local families. (File)
Storm drains in Alabaster drain directly into Buck Creek, which is a popular recreation area for many local families. (File)

Archived Story

Alabaster releases tips to prevent sewer system damage

Published 1:51pm Friday, November 1, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster residents should refrain from throwing trash into storm drains, and should not wash household cleaners and other items down their household drains, according to a list of tips recently released by the city.

According to the list, fats, oil and grease washed down a sink drain can lead to sewer line blockages, and can be “very costly” to repair in a home. The tips encouraged residents to allow such items to solidify before placing them in a can and into the trash.

The city also is encouraging residents not to flush disposable cleaning and disinfecting wipes, as they do not break down quickly in water and can clog sewer systems. The clogs can lead to “sewage overflows which can put public health at risk, damage the environment and cause property damage,” read the list.

Pouring large amounts of household cleaning products down the drain can create problems in the city’s sewer lines, as the chemicals can mix with other substances to form toxic gases. Chemicals in cleaning products also can pass through filters at the Alabaster wastewater treatment plant and negatively impact organisms and plant life in Buck Creek and the Cahaba River.

Storm drains throughout the city drain directly into Buck Creek without treatment, meaning trash thrown into the drains eventually ends up in the creek.

“This litter can accumulate in Buck Creek and can impact water quality, detract from the beauty of the recreational areas along the creek and potentially hinder flood control protection,” read the list. “If you see litter in the street in front of your home or business, pick it up and put it in a trash can before the litter is swept into the storm drain system and into Buck Creek.”

To view the full list, visit Cityofalabaster.com/departments/environmental-services/usage_tips.

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