Farmington residents need to change their flushing habits

Posted at: 03/20/2013 5:17 PM
Updated at: 03/20/2013 6:18 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

Baby wipes and paper towels, those are some of the items that could cost taxpayers in the town of Farmington nearly a quarter of a million dollars. It's because officials say those things are being flushed down the toilet, creating problems with the town's sewage system. But there is something officials say people can do to fix the problem and save money.     

Dave Degear has been the Farmington Water and Sewer Superintendent for just six months and says this is a huge problem that at the end of the day could end up costing tax payers $250,000.

Degear says people need to remember that they can not flush things like wet wipes, diapers, tampons, makeup wipes or paper towels. That goes for people in all communities. Those things build up in what they call "rag balls" in the sewer plant and back it up, they have to be picked out by a machine and they are collected.
Degear says another issues is the pumps, this is what a new pump looks likes.
This is the gear that actually moves the sewer water to the plant and this is what it looks like after just six months. He says the cost to repair these pumps is pricey, but the real cost could come if they have to add equipment.

Dave Degear, Farmington Water and Sewer Superintendent, said, “We may have to invest a quarter of a million dollars in a hydro screen, which is a real fine screen that will filter out all the stuff in the water before it comes into the plant, so yes it could be a real expensive project for us.”

Skip Ordway, Farmington resident and business owner, said, “If people were just more, would put stuff in the garbage instead of putting it down the toilet, they'd save themselves some money, but people, people are naturally lazy. They just are. If it is easier for them to put it down the toilet, they don't care.”

Degear says if things don't change soon they will have to get it right away. He says the way the system is now it is putting too much stress on their plant and the screen will relieve much of that.