City Launches Public Awareness Campaign to Prevent Clogged Pipes, Help the Hungry
Thursday Mar 16th, 2017
The Clean Drain Campaign, which kicks off March 16 and runs through April 16, lets residents of Baltimore help feed the City’s hungry while also protecting their plumbing from grease and wipes, which are major causes of sewer backups and overflows.
The Campaign is a public-private effort by the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) and partners that include Chesapeake Bay Trust, Ridge to Reefs, Walmart, MOM’s Organic Market, and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake.
For every resident who pledges to keep fats, oils, and grease (FOG) out of the drain and keep wipes out of the toilet, campaign sponsors will make a cash donation from a pool of $6,000 to one of 10 participating food pantries. Since the money has already been donated, the pledge is free; residents simply direct which of the participating pantries the money goes.
Baltimore residents can take the pledge by visiting www.CleanDrainCampaign.org, and direct a donation to one of the 10 participating food pantries when they agree to place FOG in the trash instead of the drain, and keep wipes in the trash instead of the toilet.
“The Clean Drain Campaign makes it easy and rewarding to do the right thing,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “We need to take care of our pipes so they don’t get clogged, and we need to help those in need of food. I encourage residents to take the pledge and make Baltimore healthier for everyone.”
The campaign runs through April 16, but residents are encouraged to act quickly by visiting www.CleanDrainCampaign.org to help a nearby pantry earn extra cash.
Protecting the Pipes
DPW crews routinely find grease balls and rags when they are called to clear clogged sewers. Campaign organizers hope to promote and reinforce good habits of properly disposing FOG and wipes in the trash instead of in the plumbing. Despite claims by their manufacturers to be “flushable,” wet wipes do not break down once they are flushed and often get caught in sewer pipes, quickly contributing to overflows and backups.
“The City is spending billions of dollars to improve its aging sewer system so it is ready to serve future generations of Baltimore residents and visitors,” said DPW Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E. “The Clean Drain Campaign shows how all of us can take seemingly small steps that add up big for our community and our neighbors in need.”
All of the food pantries will get a portion of the $6,000 according to their share of the pledges. Community groups such as churches, schools, and neighborhood associations can adopt a food pantry and raise its share of the money by encouraging their members to take the Clean Drain Campaign pledge.
For updates on the Clean Drain Campaign and tips for properly disposing of grease and wipes, follow the #CleanDrainCampaign on Twitter.