Cities' sewers are flush with junk

  • Article by: MARY JANE SMETANKA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 10, 2012 - 11:46 PM

The mess you flush or toss down the sink doesn't just disappear. Sanitation crews grapple with our grimy messes every day. Just because something's disposable doesn't mean it's flushable.

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gwbuddyFeb. 11, 12 1:09 AM

When I was a kid, my mother always told me to be Polite when I was invited to other people's homes. Most of the time I was. However, I always watched -- in Shock -- what some folks put down their drains: Paint, Anti-Freeze, Motor Oil, Kitty Litter, Sand From Dirty Shoes, Bacon Grease, Cooking Oil, Roasted Bones, Burned Cookie Dough, etc. Unbelievable! I didn't mean to be Im-Polite or Rude. It just that what I saw going on wasn't kosher and I spoke up about that. I'm sorry if I hurt any feelings, but much of what I saw was improper disposal of some things. Hopefully, this article helped make people "smarter" about what CAN, and what CAN NOT, be flushed down a drain. Anything that doesn't dissolve in water should be packed up and put out with the trash. Hazardous Wastes should be taken to the proper disposal, or recycling, place.

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kirstenurvisFeb. 11, 12 7:43 AM

My daughter accidentally flushed her first cell phone. She had it in her back pocket, used the toilet, flushed, and when she pulled up her pants it popped out of the pocket and went down. An expensive lesson learned... she had to buy the replacement.

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imperialmanFeb. 11, 12 8:22 AM

If things stay their current course can we expect sewers to become clogged with Wild tickets?

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donotbugmeFeb. 11, 12 8:51 AM

As I once heard my wife's North Dakota Norwegian aunt say, "Ish-da, fee-da, disgusting!"

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Cindyr73Feb. 11, 12 9:02 AM

Dental floss? Really? When I was growing up out in the country (we had a septic system as opposed to being connected to a city sewer) Mom always made a big deal about "Nothing but toilet paper in the toilet" meaning no kleenex, no paper towels, nothing. I've carried that through to today. If it won't dissolve, it doesn't go down the drain. For grease, after it's cooled I blot it up with a paper towel and toss in the trash. Why why why would anyone flush dental floss??!!

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corvidFeb. 11, 12 9:07 AM

I think a few PSAs may be in order. While fascinating, it reveals a significant taxpayer expense that could be minimized if more people were made aware of their civic responsibility and regularly reminded to do so. I could imagine some great commercials on this unseemly topic

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allhailfsmFeb. 11, 12 9:13 AM

People today are very disconnected from how things work mechanically. You can't open anything up and see how it works. As kids, we used to open up everything from alarm clocks to electric motors. It gave us an understanding of physical systems. Now, everything is sealed and electronic. Plumbing is still mechanical, but few people know what happens after something goes down the drain.

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swschradFeb. 11, 12 9:34 AM

there are really only three rules of plumbing. water goes up, (!) goes down, and the gas goes straight out the roof. no deviations allowed. if it doesn't say "safe for septic systems" on the package, it doesn't go down. this is really simple, folks.

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knownewsFeb. 11, 12 9:46 AM

Sewers do not travel to a water treatment plant they flow to a wastewater treatment plant... a BIG difference!

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bluebird227Feb. 11, 12 9:59 AM

I collect grease in an empty jar in the door of the freezer until it's full; then I toss it in the garbage. Frozen grease doesn't smell or leak. Plus, it's kind of affirming to throw the grease away when the jar gets full--that sludge clogs arteries too!

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