Grease clogs pipes, leads to sewage overflow in Daleville

Grease clogs pipes, leads to sewage overflow in Daleville

DALEVILLE, AL (WSFA) - The city of Daleville says they have addressed a manhole overflow following reports of the spill on social media.

A viewer sent WSFA 12 News video of the overflow behind Lakeview Drive in Daleville. The woman who took the video, Theresa West, says she found the manhole Monday while walking in the woods behind her home.

"I got around a bend in the woods and it d rops down a hill. I saw all this white stuff all over the ground and I thought, 'What is that?' I saw the top of a sewer – manhole and the top of the lid was off it and everything was just coming out the top of it," said West.

Daleville Mayor, Jayme Stayton, who also serves as the Water Superintendent says his office learned of the overflow Monday and worked to unblock it that day. Tuesday work started to clean up debris in the area and that was complete by Wednesday, according to Stayton.

The city says they brought in a backhoe to remove solid waste from the area – according to guidelines from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

ADEM confirms they received a report about the spill. The agency didn't have numbers on how much sewage was spilled.

Stayton says the sewage system and manholes are checked twice a year, he believes this manhole was checked last month. Stayton says this manhole hasn't overflowed in at least a year, but ones nearby overflowed about twice in a six month period.

He says this overflow was not because of sewer lines, but because of something beyond their control and easily preventable.

"We're going to send a notice out to people to tell them not to put grease down the drains. People pour it down the drain and think that it's okay because it's a liquid form when it goes down. Then is cools down and hardens," said Stayton.

When the grease hardens it blocks water flow and causes backups. Crews have to use sewer jets to unclog areas and pour degreaser solution to break down the grease.

Stayton says baby wipes are another major issue.

People who live in the area expressed concerns about the water overflow into nearby Clay Bank Creek, but the city says the creek is not expected to be impacted.

West says she understands that grease is an issue but wonders if more can be done to address the overflows.

"You're always going to have people who don't care and throw what they want down the drains, but I think if they need to upgrade their system to handle the flow that's coming through here, then that's what they need to do."

The city says because this is a known problem area, they will continue to monitor the area for overflows. They also ask people who come across overflows to contact the city immediately so they can take action.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All right reserved.