The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 7, 2013

Town adds new sewer fee

By Justin Jones, Staff Writer

Monday, January 7, 2013 — Continuing to pour grease down the sink or flushing a dirty diaper down the toilet could begin to cost home owners living in Stanfield.

Doing those things eventually leads to damage for a home’s grinder pump, a waste management device that grinds waste into smaller pieces to a liquid like material before it exits the home and flows into a sewer system.

Stanfield Town Council passed a resolution unanimously Thursday evening that will require home owners to pay the price if the town sees signs of misuse.

“We’ll charge to the home or business owner sewer count the following charges for improper waste disposal into the sewer system,” Town Administrator Bob Harvey read.

“Grinder pump pit clean up for improper waste disposal, (such as) grease, oil, cat litter, diapers, cloth rags, plastic objects, $200. Replacement of grinder pump due to improper waste disposal, $1,700.”

Harvey continued laying the backdrop for why Stanfield felt the necessity to begin recovering cost associated with grinder pump replacement.

“We’ve got a house, we’ve had three pumps we put in the last three years,” he said.

“We’ve been made aware that we’ve had to replace some equipment because of improper use,” Mayor Kevin Barbee said.

“(The resolution) makes us able to do something about it.”

Harvey assured the council that fair judgement will be used when looking at each situation.

“This will be on a case by case basis with good judgement,” he said.

Councilman Jason Smith asked Harvey and Councilman Jerry Williams, who said he had seen a damaged pump because of grease, how hard it might be to determine if there had been misuse.

Harvey replied that grinder pumps are individual to each one’s own home. Williams said in a pump he saw, grease had completely worn down the motor.

All of the council seemed to agree that the resolution was aimed at putting a dollar amount to any abuse, not for all replacements the town has to service due to factors such as aging.

“We have an electronic file of all the pumps and serial numbers and when we replace them. When we move them and how often we replace them. It’s got a note of what is was, if bad bearings, old unit.” Harvey said.

Photos will also be used in the documentation and kept on file.

A copy of the resolution along with a flyer of what is proper and improper to be poured or flushed into the grinder pumps will be mailed to all Stanfield residents in the coming weeks.

The town would also like to remind Stanfield residents that their last loose leaf pick-up day is Jan. 8.