Sewer system needs proper care to run efficiently

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Alberton officials have warned that residents may be flushing their money down the drain — not literally, but close enough!

The sewer system was a topic of concern during Alberton’s Dec. 5, 2017, town council meeting. In 2017 the pumps had gone down 10 times because improper items were flushed in the system, according to James Claxton with the Water/Wastewater Department.

When improper items are flushed down homeowners’ toilets, it can clog the drains in the wastewater treatment plant located on the southwest end of town. Claxton put together a flyer about items that can, and items that should not, be flushed into the system. The flyer went out with sewer bills earlier this year.

Homeowners are responsible for repair costs if drains are clogged by something improperly flushed.

“You can help avoid excessive costs and ensure the release of cleaner water into the river surrounding our community by being cautious with what goes down your drains,” the flyer states.

Items including baby wipes, diapers, hand towels, feminine hygiene products, grease, cigarettes, cat litter, condoms, paint, and medicine should be disposed of in the garbage and not down drains. According to the flyer, in order for the treatment plant to operate efficiently, the lagoon system requires a specific ration of bacteria to waste.

A household sump that drains into the sewer system causes excess fresh water to enter the system. This excess water upsets the balance of bacteria to waste and interferes with efficient waste processing. This can result in a costlier treatment of waste prior to discharge into the environment. The bottom line, the flyer states, is that “toilets are not trashcans and only the 3 P’s should be flushed — pee, poop and toilet paper.”

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