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Grease buildup causes sewage to overflow from Valdosta manhole

Buildup caused blockage in sewer line
Sewage Spill
Posted at 10:23 AM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 10:23:18-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Roughly 200 gallons of sewage overflowed from Valdosta’s sanitary sewage system on Monday.

According to Ashlyn Johnson, a spokesperson for the city, the sewage entered a storm drain that discharges into Two Mile Branch.

City staff was able to capture the majority of the overflow before it entered state waters, as well as clean and disinfect the area. The 2400 block of Patterson Street received the brunt of the blockage, caused by a buildup of fats, oils, and grease that accumulated inside the sewer line.

The level of potential contamination to the area is minimal, however, the public is advised to avoid contact with the water adjacent to 2400 block 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 Fats Oils and Grease Prevention Division is urging all customers to refrain from dumping waste cooking fats, oils and grease down their home or business drains.

For Residential Customers

Never pour FOG down the drain

  • Fats, Oils and Grease clog pipes at your house and in the 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 to do with leftover FOG

  • Discard leftover fat, oil or grease into the trash.

If you put FOG 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.

For questions, contact the City of Valdosta Utilities Department.