Water Restrictions and FOG Issues

Dear Forest Lakes Metro District Customers,

Due to the unusually dry conditions that are persisting into the late spring, the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District Board elected to be proactive in addressing this issue and, at the May 7th Board meeting, approved implementation of Stage I Drought Restrictions for outdoor irrigation. While Stage I restrictions are voluntary, we strongly encourage all residents to adhere to these restrictions, which provide that outdoor irrigation should be limited to 3 days per week. We suggest that residential users with even numbered addresses only irrigate on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday and that residential users with odd numbered addresses limit outdoor irrigation to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Commercial users should only irrigate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As the late spring/summer progresses, we will continue to monitor water usage levels for our residents and the amount of irrigation required for the District landscaping and Waterfront Park. If the level of usage presents too much stress for our well, the Board may elect to go to mandatory water restrictions at some point.

We encourage our residents to review the settings on their irrigation systems to ensure that they are not over-watering established turf areas.

While many wastewater collection systems send out a FOG – E. at, Oil, and Grease – letter around the holidays, our operators have noted a very significant problem with FOG in our sanitary sewer system over the last several months.
FOG is an ongoing problem in every sanitary sewer system around the country. If you look up Articles on FOG, you will see articles from the Carolinas to California repeating the same creed: “Don’t wash your fats, oil, and grease down the drain”.
FOG consists of fat from turkey and any other animal meats, shortening, butter, bacon grease, food scraps, salad dressings, and marinades; just to name a few. Anything that has fat, oil or grease in it somewhere is a culprit. Forest Lakes Metro District and our contract operator, Donala Water and Sanitation District, suggest that when you start cleaning up after any meal, please do not throw Fat, Oil or Grease down the drain.

Recently, our operators have noted a continual problem with a build-up of FOG in the lift stations in our sanitary sewer system. This means special, expensive, treatment to get the sanitary sewer system back under control. This gets expensive in the form of chemicals and manpower. The second problem to us (and probably foremost to you) is that your own household sewer lines can get clogged with that same FOG. What customers send down the drain doesn’t always make it through the sanitary sewer system to our treatment facility. Some of that same FOG stays in household wastewater lines and starts coating your lines (much like cholesterol in our arteries). As that FOG builds up, your wastewater lines clog up more and more. Below is a list of Do’s and Don’ts of FOG.

  1. Don’t put anything with fat, oil or grease down the drain (salad oil, shortening, animal skins, bacon grease, etc.).
  2. As you are rinsing out pans, wipe out the grease first with a paper towel. When you do rinse out the pan with any grease residual, rinse the pan with cold water so that any grease residue will flush as it is rather than congeal to the sides of your pipes.
  3. Be careful using chemicals to clear grease clogs as they can damage your plumbing. Make sure that you know what kind of piping you have in your home before you pour a chemical down your drain.
  4. If you have any doubts about what is ok to flush down your drain, please feel free to call our contract operator at 719-488-3603 or email them at OM@donalawater.com or billing@donalawater.com.

Other culprits are dairy products such as old milk, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream. Not only is the fat content a problem but dairy products change the PH balance in the waste treatment plant which creates a problem as well.

Also please remember that flushing dental floss, dental tape and so-called “disposable” wipes down your sewer is a terrible thing to do to your plumbing as well as to your sanitary sewer system and Wastewater Treatment Plant! The floss and tape wrap around impellers and cause huge problems. The floss and tape can also get tangled (like hairballs in your plumbing) and create clogs that are difficult to break up. The wipes simply clog the lift stations.
Thank you for your attention to these important issues.



Ann E. Nichols

FLMD District Manager


May 11, 2018

Forest Lakes Metropolitan District 2 North Cascade Avenue, Suite 1280 Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 Telephone: (719) 633-4500
Fax: (719) 633-6258


FLMD – fog and water restrictions letter – May 11 2018 – sign

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