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  6.  » Wastewater FAQs

Can I flush cleaning wipes, such as disinfecting wipes and baby wipes?

Answer:  No. Disinfectant, baby and even flushable wipes cannot be flushed down the toilet. Although they may advertise that they’re flushable: they are not. These wipes cause major blockage issues, not only in the large pipes of the sewer system, but also in your home lateral pipe that carries wastewater away from your home to the city sewer main.


What is the best way to dispose of cooking grease?

Answer: Many sewer backups in homes can be prevented by not pouring cooking grease down the drain. While it may be tempting to throw used cooking oil down the drain, this is a bad idea.

Grease and cooking oils coat the insides of the pipes, causing a gunky, thick buildup that could cause clogs that are difficult to thoroughly remove. Don’t throw cooking oil down the toilet, either, as the grease still ends up in the sewer system. These oils can cause clogs, resulting in sewage backups or overflows into waterways, harming the environment. To help keep as much grease out of the drains as possible, wipe any greasy dish, pot or pan off with paper towels and discard those in the trash before placing the cookware in the sink. Wait until pots and pans are cool before wiping them off and before placing them in a sink full of water.


Sewage is backing up into my house. Who do I call?

Answer: If you, or someone you know, is experiencing sewage backup issues, call 440-366-2211, option 0 to speak with an operator. They will have one of our staff members respond to your location to help identify the problem and do what they can to assist. This service is available at no charge, day or night, every day of the year. Plant Operators are always on duty. If the operator is making his/her hourly rounds when you call, please leave your name, number, and a brief description of the problem on the recorder and they will call you back promptly.


Where does Elyria’s stormwater go?

Answer: The storm drains on the sides of the roadways drain to the Black River. Anything that is dumped into these drains goes directly to the fish. Help protect our wildlife and environment by reserving these drains for rain water only.


Why do our streets sometimes flood when it rains?

Answer: Grass clippings, leaves, plastic bags, beverage cans, empty bottles, food wrappers, and other forms of litter in the roadway cause plugging of the storm drains along the sides of the road resulting in the flooding of streets when it rains. A lot of these materials wash into the storm sewers with the rain and end up in the Black River and increase the amount of solid materials in the river and detract from the natural beauty of the river. As these solids break down, they use up oxygen in the river leaving less oxygen for the fish and other aquatic life. You can do your part to preserve this fresh water habitat for the fish by keeping grass clippings and leaves out of the street and by using trash cans for paper and plastic items. Please don’t litter.


Does Elyria recycle Mercury?

Answer: The City of Elyria Wastewater Department no longer accepts mercury for recycling. All mercury and mercury-containing items can be taken to the Lorain County Solid Waste District Collection Center located at 540 South Abbe Road in Elyria. Learn more at