RED BANK: FLUSHING AWAY TAX DOLLARS

HOT-TOPIC_03Somebody flushed a mop head down a toilet.

That feat of hydraulic waste removal and others, including the flushing of a towel, led to a three-day crash of a Red Bank sanitary sewer pump earlier this week that will cost taxpayers at least $30,000, officials said Wednesday night.

The pump failure occurred on Sunday at a sewer lift station on East Bergen Place at the foot of Hudson Avenue. Crews worked around the clock to repair the station, which was rebuilt just a few years ago, Administrator Stanley Sickels said at the bimonthly council meeting.

Unwise disposal choices also appear to have led to sanitary sewer lines backing up into household toilets and sinks in the vicinity of Harrison Avenue in recent weeks, Sickles said. One culprit: a large plastic garbage bag.

Don’t flush mops, towels and other large items, town officials advised. Send a Hefty bag down the chute and unpleasant stuff “will back out a hole or it will back up into houses,” Sickels said.

In fact, don’t even flush so-called “flushable wipes,” borough Engineer Christine Ballard told the council audience.

“Flushable wipes are not flushable,” she said. “They may go down your toilet,” but they jam up pumping equipment, and municipalities across America are finding out that such convenience products are hitting them with “huge costs,” Ballard said.