Porter Public Works Department employees are pulling an average six or more
lift-station pumps a day to remove items that never should have been flushed
Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer said the problems are
escalating. “We have had several sewer mains and laterals clogged from
debris, which not only causes the pumps to have unnecessary wear but also
will damage the pumps.”
This results in spending many hours operating the town’s vacuum-truck jetter
as well as staff hours pulling the pumps, said Brueckheimer. In addition,
town employees are exposed to health hazards such as sanitary waste and
germs, requiring them to wear personal protective gear and take appropriate
According to the superintendent, town residents can help reduce the costs of
sewer waste treatment and lift station maintenance, equipment, and the
danger to employees’ health by disposing the following items in the trash
rather than down the sewer.
Listed are Depends/diapers, baby wipes and other fibrous materials such as
towels; Swiffer and floor-mopping materials despite packaging that says they
are biodegradable; and female/male hygiene products also labeled as
biodegradable. Brueckheimer said these take years to break down and can
result in lift-station failures until they do.
Fats, oils and grease cause sewer clogs and lift-station failures so they
should not be flushed into town sewer lines either.
“The Public Works team is asking for your help with this situation to help
reduce the cost for everyone within the Town of Porter,” urged Brueckheimer.
She reminded that expired or unwanted medications can be disposed of at the
Porter Police Department, 50 Francis St. Hypodermic needles and syringes
should be returned to a doctor in a sharps safety container.