Water-Related News

Polk County population growth causing more grease-related sewer blockages, officials say

LAKELAND – Grease, mayonnaise, rags, butter, sanitary wipes, shortening are just a few of the sickly things that flow through sewer pipes.

At a growing rate, Polk County pipes are clogging up.

Late this week, an 18-inch pipe on North Florida Avenue between Aida Street and Griffin Road became so clogged, the city of Lakeland had to bypass the pipe to allow residents to continue flushing their toilets.

“That’s an area where there’s a lot of, we call them heavy flows with sewage, so we did a bypass so we could have a workaround so people could still flush their toilets and do their business,” said Kevin Cook, city of Lakeland communications director.

Persistent rain posed a problem for crews trying to get a camera underground to make sure the pipe was unblocked.

Officials say clogs are caused by hot fats, oils and grease being poured directly down sinks.

The liquids harden when cooled and congeal, which blocks pipes and catches everything else flowing through sewer pipes.