For the last few months, every Thursday someone is dumping huge amounts of grease and fat down a manhole in Orem. The gunk ends up at the city’s water reclamation plant, where it damages equipment.
“About once a week, a huge wave of oil and gunk and goo, essentially stuff that shouldn’t be in the sewer system, is washing up into the treatment plant, clogging cleaners,” said Pete Wolfley, an Orem spokesman. “It’s causing issues with the general maintenance and function of the plant.”
He said this isn’t someone dumping bacon grease at home; this is a commercial hauler who’s decided to illegally dump waste in Orem.
“This is someone whose job it is to pick up grease and fat from restaurants and other industrial-type businesses,” Wolfley said. “Instead of properly disposing, they’re going to a manhole and emptying it into the sewer. It’s a crime.”
“This is someone whose job it is to pick up grease and fat from restaurants and other industrial-type businesses. Instead of properly disposing, they’re going to a manhole and emptying it into the sewer. It’s a crime.” —Pete Wolfley, Orem spokesman
Because there are a few thousand manholes in the city and hundreds of miles of sewer pipes, water treatment officials can’t pinpoint where the dumping is happening. Or if it’s occurring at different locations, Wolfley said. But they’ve determined that’s it’s always on Thursdays, and always during the day.
He said no one should ever be dumping waste into a manhole. And the only vehicles that should be stopped at a manhole are city vehicles. And the city never dumps waste down a manhole.
So, if you see someone with a big tanker truck at a manhole, they’re likely doing something illegal. Orem officials say don’t approach the person. You should get the license plate number and call the hotline set up to report illegal dumping — (801) 229-7577.