IronhouseToday 10.31.19
Alum Feed Station

Ironhouse's Alum Feed Station project nearly completed

There's been a lot of action happening at Ironhouse’s Water Recycling Facility (WRF) these past few months. Earlier this year the District approved a major upgrade plan to meet the needs of our growing community that it plans to be tackle over the next six years. 

The first of these projects were started this fall and includes the building of a permanent Alum Feed Station. The District began using aluminum sulfate (alum) three years ago when infiltration and illegal discharges into the District’s sewer lines began causing issues in the plant’s ultra-violet (UV) light treatment system. 
When the staff started adding doses of alum to the systems they were able to restore the effectiveness of the UV treatment process. After a couple of years, it became evident that the issues related to stormwater infiltration were not abating causing the District to set up a more permanent solution. 
The new permanent alum feed station allows for safer handling of the alum for staff, and also, the fully automated system is integrated with the rest of the plant to ensure the chemical is delivered when needed.

Laurel Heights pump station

Pump pressure loss due to wipes

Ironhouse’s Collections’ crew is constantly out in the streets monitoring the sewer pipes and making sure that there are no leaks or possibilities to sewer overflows. A few weeks ago, the crew noted that a pump station, that helps the flow of wastewater through the sewer pipes, was running a bit slow. That prompted crew members to go and pull the pump to see what was happening. 
It was found that wipes, or what the crew calls “rags”, were wadding up in the pump. This required that the crew needed to turn off and bypass the pump station, pull the pump from the ground and clean the wipes out of the pump. This process usually requires taking the pump apart to make sure nothing is still stuck.
This is why the District asks that when using personal wipes, please do not flush them down the toilet. Had the team not been diligent in checking the pumps, this could have turned into a sewer overflow that could have caused a larger mess. 
Remember, even if a wipes product says “flushable” it doesn’t always mean it will make it through the system. Please, put wipes in the trash can for proper disposal.  

Wipes study map
Wipes Study 1: Bucket of wipe samples
Wipes 2: view of main hole
Wipes 3: samples of wipes pulled from sewer

Ironhouse participates in wipes dispersibility study

Ironhouse Sanitary District and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) teamed up on a field study on wipes dispersibility as part of a project that CASA is testing throughout the State over the next few months. The field study examined how several wet wipe products, or “flushable” wipes perform in actual sewer lines.
The field study involves tagging different wet wipe products and sending them through manholes into small sections of sewer lines. The tagged wipes are then retrieved and studied. The data being collected in the field studies will be a valuable tool to demonstrate how wet wipes behave in live sewer systems.
The map above shows the route where the field study was conducted. As expected toilet paper had no problem making it through the system, however, several brands wipes marked “flushable” still came through the system whole, when they should have begun to break down.
CASA will be tabulating results and sending them to California wastewater agencies in the coming months. 

House image

Find out about home sewer laterals

A sewer lateral is an underground pipe that connects a residence or business to the main sewer line. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the sewer lateral. It is also the property owner’s responsibility to complying with all District ordinances relating to the discharge of sewage. 
Preventing discharge of untreated wastewater into the environment through leaky or unsound sewer lines protects the public health, safety and welfare of our community. For this reason, Ironhouse Sanitary District requires timely inspections, maintenance, repair and replacement of private sewers laterals.
It is the responsibility of all property owners to maintain their private sewers in a manner that prevents sewer overflows or spills. Any sewer overflows or spills clean-up and damage is the responsibility of the property owner.
There are instances when private laterals are required to be inspected by Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and require a Compliance Certificate at the owner's expense. These instances include, but are not limited to: the issuance of a building permit with a valuation of $25,000 or more, if no permit has been issued within the past 20 years, the occurrence of one sewer overflow caused by a private sewer line or the sale of a property over than 20 years.
For more information on sewer laterals, please click this link.

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