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Higher than normal number of ECUA sewage overflows
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority has been dealing with more sewer overflows than usual lately.
Last week alone, there were six of them within two days at facilities throughout the Pensacola area.
Two were caused by lightning strikes and two were blamed on a line break and a broken air release valve.
But authorities say the others were caused by stuff people sent down the drain.
Fats, oils and grease are once again being blamed for causing problems in the ECUA's pipelines.
Authorities say grease caused a more than 500 gallon overflow at this pumping station on Muldoon Road.
Joe Douglass: "What did it smell like?"
Jandy Bazain, Lives Near Pumping Station: "Like somebody ain't flushed the toilet in more than two weeks."
Jandy Bazain lives near the pumping station.
He saw crews out cleaning up the stinky sewage along with that pipe clogging grease.
Jandy Bazain, Lives Near Pumping Station: "It was like a sappy type stuff, you know what I'm sayin?"
On that Tuesday there were a total of five overflows at ECUA sewage facilities. The sixth one happened on Wednesday.
The largest overflow was 2,000 gallons, most of which was vacuumed up, and the smallest two spilled 100 gallons each.
Reporter: "What do you think about people who dump it down the drain?
Robert Chacon, Lives Near Lift Station: "They're lazy idiots."
Although authorities say it's a big problem, we couldn't find anyone who would fess up to pouring fat, grease and oil down the drain.
Reporter: "What do you do with grease?"
Jandy Bazain, Lives Near Lift Station: "Usually we save it and recook it."
Scott Bolser, Lives Near Lift Station: "I normally just take mine and dump it on the roots and the tree stumps in the backyard and it kills the tree stumps.:
ECUA authorities say people have also been flushing rags, diapers, dental floss and other stuff that has no business in pipes.
They say all of last week's overflow areas were cleaned and disinfected and proper authorities were notified.
The ECUA was not cited by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
The below information about proper disposal of grease is from the ECUA:
Residential Cooking Grease Disposal Program (FOG)
Disposing of household grease correctly is essential to ensure that your home's plumbing and ECUA sewer lines don't get "all choked up." Pouring cooking grease down the drain is not recommended because as grease cools, it hardens, leading to "chokes" in your plumbing or sewer line. Even though we live in a warm climate, many fats harden at room temperature.
The aim of ECUA's Grease Disposal Program is to help our customers capture and dispose of their cooking grease in an environmentally safe and effective way. Please return the used oil to the container it came in (if possible), or pick up a grease container that you can use to store and dispose of household cooking grease (see locations below). Return your filled container to any of the designated locations, and exchange it for an empty container, ready to repeat the process. Its that simple!
Thanks for helping us keep sewer lines and your homes plumbing clear and unclogged. For more information, please call ECUA Customer Service at (850) 476-5110.
Residential Cooking Grease Disposal Program Sites:
Clean & Green
3303 N. Davis Hwy.
Baskerville Donovan Engineering
449 West Main St.
ECUA at Ellyson Industrial Park
9255 Sturdevant St. (Outside gate, left of garage entrance)
ECUA Sanitation Department
3050 Godwin Lane (At east end of employee parking)
ECUA Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Facility
3050 Fayal Dr. (Outside gate, right of plant entrance)
Via de Luna Drive
Adjacent to the green recycling bins, between Pensacola Beach Elementary School and Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church.
Aboard NAS Pensacola (Military and Base Personnel Only) stations are located at:
- Andrew Jackson Court
- Fort Santa Maria de Galve Hase Road and Slemmer Avenue
- Abb Street across from the Naval Survival Training Institute
And two new locations under construction at:
- Murray Street and Billingsley Street
- Corry Field Housing at NAS Corry Station