Sanitary sewer systems are designed to collect and transport sewage and industrial wastewater to a wastewater treatment facility for appropriate treatment. However, when objectionable wastes such as oil and grease enter the sewer system they cause blockages and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). SSOs are a type of unauthorized discharge of untreated or partially treated wastewater from a collection system or its components (such as a manhole, lift station, or cleanout) before it has reached a treatment facility. SSOs enter storm drains and local creeks, creating public health risks. The City of Sherman participates in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s SSO Initiative. This formal agreement allows the city to spend resources on correcting problems as opposed to having to pay penalties associated with an enforcement order.
Through a Fats, Oil, Grease and Sediment Program (FOG), the City of Sherman controls the discharge of objectionable wastes at the source and provides the tools and knowledge to prevent clogged pipes. The FOG program applies to all non-domestic users with the potential to discharge FOG, sediment or other objectionable wastes. The City of Sherman has a proactive, cooperative relationship with local restaurants and works with other businesses to keep FOG out of the sewer system. Currently, approximately 260 businesses are regulated under the FOG program. The business categories include restaurants, cafeterias, carwashes, laundries and automotive repair shops.