Video cameras that drive through the sewer pipes of Bishop have brought back footage from inside the guts of the city. Considering what goes does go down the drain, the insides of the city sewer pipes are not so bad as you might think. One problem does stand out though – the white goo of congealed fat.

Bishop Public Works Director David Grah has issued a press release about dumping oils and grease down the drain. This ongoing problem is the most common cause of sewer back ups, he reports.

As the camera rolls down the pipes, it catches video of running water that actually appears mostly clear, with occasional sections of flowing soap suds and roots breaking through. As the water level drops and rises, the floating congealed grease sticks to the sides of the sewer pipes at the high water mark.

Grah said that city crews do what they can to clear the built-up grease before there is a problem. Often its a losing battle, he says. The best thing to do is to stop the grease at its source. He is asking residents and businesses, especially the restaurants, to help out by scraping grease and food scraps into the trash can rather than down the drain or into the garbage disposal. A basket or strainer in the sink also helps to catch food scraps and solids before they head down the drain.

Grah also reports that dental floss down the drain gets into the moving parts of sewer pumps and is one of the most common reasons that sewer pumps break.

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