Chesterton Tribune



Porter sewer lift station pumps clogged with unnecessary waste

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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 into sewers.

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 first-aid measures.

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.



Posted 10/10/2013