SEWER COSTS WILL MOST LIKELY BE INCREASING DUE TO WET WIPE/OTHER MATERIAL INFLICTING DAMAGE
Since the beginning of the pandemic in late 2019 and early 2020 we have been seeing wide use of wet wipes being disposed of via flushing them into the sewer system. THESE ARE NOT TOLIET PAPER AND WE HAVE REPEATEDLY NOTIFIED THE PUBLIC of the damage these wipes and similar materials cause to the city’s sanitary sewer system.
It takes very little effort to properly dispose of these as solid waste in the city refuse pickup similarly to disposable baby diapers. Doing so saves us all, as a community in maintenance costs. Costs that will eventually lead to fee increases for everyone we serve.
WET WIPES ARE NOT SAFE FOR THE SEWER SYSTEM EVEN IF THEY SAY THEY ARE FLUSHABLE!!!
IT DOES NOT MATTER IF THE WET WIPES SAY FLUSHABLE OR NOT!!! Both types cause extreme issues with the sewer system that have a high price tag including costs of employee overtime hours, mitigation, and repair/replacement of the damaged equipment.
Damage with a replacement cost of $25,000 – $35,000.00 per raw lift pump per incident
The Nebraska City Waste Water Treatment Plant has a primary lift (pumping) station with 2 pumps that handle all waste water collected in the city. At least one of these pumps must be running at all times to raise the waste water from the incoming sewers to the level where it can be processed by the facility.
In the picture above the damage is very evident inside of one of these two very important pumps. When you summarize the costs of the damage shown in the picture you get:
1.) A mechanical shaft seals needs to be replaced at $2,500 just for the seal mechanism itself, plus the cost for a dedicated installation of the seal mechanism by the manufacturer of the pump.
2.) Over 40 employee hours for two operators to pull the pump, clean the pump, ship the pump for repair, and then receive and reinstall the pump which costs nearly as much as a new shaft seal mechanism.
3.) The cost of repairing/replacing the damaged pumps
4.) Finally, add on any penalties levied by Federal and State regulators (if there is a raw waste water discharge) and the cost can soar into the tens of thousands of dollars per incident. We at Nebraska City Utilities strive to be responsible to our environment and do all we can to perform our duties and protect the world we live in, however, when equipment fails we do not have a choice in the matter.
Damage to the primary clarifiers with a cost up to $25,000 dollars per incident
The rags and wet wipes clog up the primary clarifiers, plugging lines and damaging the scrapers/rakes that help remove the solids from the waste water.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…
DISPOSE OF YOUR WET WIPES AND OTHER FIBER MATERIALS THAT DO NOT BELONG IN THE SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM AS SOLID WASTE!!! This small step performed by every member of the community helps us perform our mission to responsibly provide the best service for the lowest possible cost to you, our community.