Respect for Drains and The Hazards of Kitchen Disposals

This letter is a reminder of some critically important practices that residents need to follow in order to avoid costly damages to your condo and those of your neighbors. Several years ago, as a result of the negligence or misconduct on the part of one resident at American Towers, we had an incident where our sewer lines became blocked and sewage backed up, overflowed, and severely affected seven condo's resulting in damages in excess of $40,000 dollars. This all happened because someone placed something in a drain or toilet that did not belong such as a rag, diaper, clothing, napkins or paper towels. The blockage was sufficiently large that it required our plumbers to return three times with their auger cables to dislodge it and to grind it up. We still do not know what the blockage was, nor where it originated. We simply know that it was large and that it did not belong in the sewer lines.

This letter is to infonn you, all residents, of the severe consequences to you and your neighbors when there is a failure to pay attention to the simple facts of high rise condo living, from laziness to properly dispose of waste, or from mistreating or abusing your waste facilities such as drains and toilets by forcing them to accept items that should never be placed in them. Please DO NOT place in your toilets or drains any rags or clothing of any nature, diapers of any kind, whether from babies or the elderly, paper towels or paper or plastic refuse of any kind, potting soil from plants, or any other kind of refuse or garbage. The ONLY things that can be placed in toilets is human waste and toilet paper. The ONLY things for drains is waste water, soaps and detergents. Everything else should be placed in a trash container with plastic bags or linings and disposed of appropriately in the trash chute located on your floor.

Unbeknownst to many, large quantities of suds also create blockages in the main sewer lines resulting in suds that emerge and overflow from toilets in condos below. This can also be caused by using regular detergent in your dishwasher. Only "low suds" soaps and detergents are pennitted for laundry facilities and only "dishwasher safe" dishwasher detergents are permitted for dishwashers.

We recognize that most condos also have electric disposal units in their kitchen sinks. These may be convenient, but are also known as the "plumbers best friend" because they nearly always leave byproducts and residue that accumulates over time and clogs up either your own drains or the common main sewer lines. Your Board ofTrustees strongly discourages residents from using these waste disposal units. Do not attempt to use these units for any kind of meat, fat, grease, gristle, butter or any meat or fish byproducts. Do not dispose of vegetable peelings or rinds of any kind that can easily be placed in a garbage container or bag. The disposal units may be convenient, but are only convenient at great cost to you and your neighbors when the drains become clogged. The drains are expensive to clear, taxing on our staff, and extremely expensive when sewers and drains backup, overflow and cause severe damage requiring disinfectant and sanitization ofaffected areas.

We have once again recently requested plumbers come to clear several drain lines, only to find, yes, waste from kitchen disposal units in the drain lines.

Thank you again for your patience and co-operation as we continually address these issues of vital importance to all of us.


Your Board of Trustees