Truth: Sewers Spill Dirty Little Secrets

San Antonio Water System has been telling customers for years that what they put down the drain can cause unsightly backups. But a new campaign focuses on exposing the truth: Pipes Don’t Lie.

A new take on educating customers (current and future ones), the Pipes Don’t Lie campaign includes interactive resources for kids, too. It zeroes in on the causes of sewer backups and exposes the culprits — personal and cleaning wipes and greasy, sticky foods.

These clump together with other debris, creating long, mop-like masses that block the flow of wastewater in pipes. And that leads to messy, smelly backups in neighborhoods and sometimes even into homes and businesses. “We’re always looking for novel ways to remind customers how they can help prevent these spills and keep our sewer system safe,” said Gavino Ramos, SAWS vice president of communications. “Fixing sewer spills is costly and disruptive — and this campaign is a way to emphasize that most backups are preventable.”

Sink drains are not trash cans. Neither are toilets.

Use your brown city trash bin to dispose of all greasy food bits and so-called “flushable” wipes.

To learn more, visit