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Video: Grease Clogs Inside San Antonio's Sewers


SAWS customers will likely see a 9.9 percent net rate increase on their water bills in the new year, thanks in large part to an increase in sewer overflows. The water utility is asking consumers to join them for upcoming community meetings to learn more about how to reduce costs.

San Antonio Water System has 5,000 miles of sewer pipe and Spokeswoman Anne Hayden said sewer spills have become so common that the utility must do more repair and clean-up than they have had to do in the past.

Part of the problem is consumer habits.

"People have become accustomed to flushing things down the drain," said Hayden. "There are feminine products, there are 'flushables,' which is a misnomer - they should never be flushed at all. But also there's grease, which people are used to scraping out pots and pans and putting it down the garbage disposal or the drain."

SAWS recently undertook an ad campaign featuring the Grease Monster which encourages residents to place grease debris in the trash.

Hayden said San Antonio must come into compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act, and that means zero overflows from its sewer system - overflows that often stem from grease clogs in the system.

Hayden said SAWS will show a video at the community meetings of camera shots inside the sewer system, depicting string and other debris that cause problems and backups.

Twenty community meetings are scheduled with two in each council district. The first two are Wednesday evening, and meetings continue through December.

Take a look at a sewer under Nacogdoches and I-10 Loop 410: