Usage Tips

Fats, Oils and Grease


The Problem


The fats, oils, and grease that remain after cooking should never be washed down the drain, not even with hot water and soap. Oil and grease can build up in sanitary sewer lines and cause blockages leading to sewer backups and overflows that endanger public health and the environment. In addition, clearing grease blockages within your home can be very costly.

What You Can Do


  • Take fats, oil, and grease "From the Pan to the Can!"
  • Let grease cool down and solidify after cooking, then transfer to a container, such as a soup or pet food can.
  • Cover the can, store it, and when it is full (up to a quart) dispose of it directly into the trash.

Disposable Wipes


The Problem


Disposable cleaning and disinfecting wipes do not break down quickly in water. If flushed, they can clog your sewer line of the public sewer systems, potentially causing sewage overflows which can put public health at risk, damage the environment, and cause property damage.


What You Can Do


Take the wipes and "Put Em Away Right!". Please place all cleaning and disinfecting wipes in your trash container.

Household Cleaners


The Problem


Most bathrooms contain a wide variety of cleaning products and first aid kits. These may contain harsh chemicals, which when washed down the drain, can mix with other chemicals present in the sanitary sewer. There they form toxic gases and compounds that can flow to the Alabaster Waster Water Treatment Plant and negatively impact the Plant's treatment processes.

Chemicals from cleaning products can also pass through the Plant and negatively affect organisms and vegetation in Buck Creek and ultimately the Cahaba River.

What You Can Do


Do not flush mop disposal shields or cloths down the toilet; throw them in the garbage, instead.
Create your own cleaning solutions from common household items that are effective, economical, and less toxic. To get you started, here are some recipes:
  • All Purpose Cleaner - Mix 2 cups hot water with 1 teaspoon of liquid soap or borax. To cut grease, add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and shake gently to dissolve minerals.
  • Clogged Drains - Keep a strainer in the drain at all times and clean frequently. Once a week, put a handful of baking soda down the drain followed by hot water. If you get a clog, use a plunger or snake.
  • Glass Cleaner - Mix 1 cup water and 1/8 cup white vinegar.
  • Shower Cleaner - Mix 2 cups hot water, 1 teaspoon of borax, and 3 tablespoons of white vinegar. Use after each shower to prevent mold, mildew, and hard water from developing.

Litter in Buck Creek


Effects of Litter on Buck Creek


Storm drains in the City of Alabaster transport water directly to Buck Creek without treatment. This means litter and other pollutants washed down storm drains end up in Buck Creek. This litter can accumulate in Buck Creek and can impact water quality, detract from the beauty of the recreational areas along the creek and potentially hinder flood control protection.


What You Can Do


Always throw trash in the proper receptacle and never throw trash in the street, sidewalk or creek banks. If you see litter in the street in front of your home or business, pick it up and put it in a trash can before the litter is swept into the storm drain system and into Buck Creek.

Additional Tasks
  • Adopt a stretch of Buck Creek, a City Park or Walking Trail and help "Keep Alabaster Beautiful".
  • Minimize the amount of trash you generate by using reusable or recyclable materials when possible.
  • Volunteer to pick up litter in your residential area and in public recreational areas.