Emergency? Contact Water Service 24 Hours at (806) 775-2588

Sanitary Sewer Overflows

What is a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO)?

A SSO occurs when wastewater overflows from a sanitary sewer collection system. SSOs can lead to significant environmental, health and safety risks.

SSOs can be caused by anything capable of obstructing sewer collection system. The most common causes are tree roots and/or grease.

How to help prevent SSOs

  • Collect used oil and grease in covered containers. When it is cool seal the container and place it in the trash. Restaurants or other generators of large amounts of used cooking oil should recycle the oil with a rendering company.
  • Dispose of the used cooking oil from a turkey fryer by:
    • Letting the used oil cool
    • Add small amounts of clay kitty litter until the oil is all absorbed
    • Put the kitty litter in a plastic trash bag and wipe out the container with a paper towel. Now place the paper towel in the trash bag with the used kitty litter and seal the bag.
    • Place the sealed bag of oil soaked kitty litter in the trash.
  • Scrape food left on plate into the trash or to compost bins.
  • Wipe down pots, pans & dishes with paper towels before washing.
  • Stop using garbage disposals. The food particles and any associated fats, oils & grease could cause a blockage in your sewer line and/or the the city's sewer collection system.
  • Install and maintain screens and or strainers over all sink and floor drains.
  • Install and maintain properly sized grease interceptors in commercial kitchens. Grease interceptors should be pumped, cleaned and inspected, when grease and solids make up 25% of the wetted volume.

Sanitary sewer manhole overflowing to a stormwater drain.