The holiday season means an upswing in the amount of cooking and tasty items coming out of the kitchen. However, when you're slicing and dicing, stirring and pureeing, the City of Pueblo Wastewater Division would like us all to pay a little extra attention to what we might be putting down the drain. Gene Michael, Wastewater Division Director, says it's best to take a step back in time when dealing with the fats and gunk that may cook off the holiday meal. Instead of pouring it down the drain, Michael advises people to go old style, and pour it into an old coffee can or similar container. Then just toss the can in the trash. The same goes for the mounds of vegetable peels and parings that can end up in the sink. It's a good idea, Michael says, to just bundle them up and toss them in the trash. The biggest problem with pouring grease, fat or oils down the sink or garbage disposal is that it can collect in the underground sewer mains or pipes. If those mains are blocked, sewage can back up into the systems in our homes. Although the sewage may not back up into your home, it very well could a few blocks down the street. Michael has been vigilant in getting the word out, and it seens to have helped. In 2005, there were 75 sewer main blockages in Pueblo. So far, as we near the end of 2012, there have been only 9. Michael reminds people that not only can these blockages be messy, stinky affairs, they can also run into some cash for people. And we have not even addressed what happens if there are sewer leaks that cause the state health department to step into the picture. If the state has to come in because of wastewater problems, it could levy some pretty heavy fines or penalties. And we, as taxpayers, will ultimately end up paying for them. So while you are celebrating the holiday season, please keep in mind what may be going down the drain. Certainly not holiday spirit, and we hope, not a lot of garbage either!