Municipal Authority & Sewer Service
About Sewerage Service in East Brandywine Township
The Municipal Authority currently operates and maintains two wastewater treatment facilities serving nearly 700 customers in the communities of Keats Glen/Delaware County Community College, Hopewell/Guthriesville, and Applecross (click here for a PDF map). The Authority is also responsible for communicating and issuing regulations governing its systems and ensuring safe and reliable sanitary sewer operations. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 AM in the Municipal Building.
The quarterly sewer bills are mailed on the first day of January, April, July, and October, and payment is due within thirty days. The Municipal Authority has found it necessary to adopt a firm policy with regard to delinquent accounts in order to encourage timely payment of user fees and to achieve uniformity and fairness among all the users. A 10% late fee is applied if payment is not received by the due date on the invoice. If the user charge plus the initial penalty is not paid within sixty days from the date of the invoice, an additional penalty of 15% of the user charge will be added to the bill. The policy on late charges and attorney’s fees for collection of delinquent accounts may be viewed in its entirety at Resolution No. 1 of 2005. Section 801 of the Sewer Use Resolution lists the materials that are prohibited from entering the sewer system, including non-biodegradable items, grease, flammable or volatile liquids, etc. The connection of sump pumps to the sewer system is also strictly prohibited.
No Wipes in the Pipes!
There are “wipes” for virtually every household and personal hygiene purpose. The original product was intended as a handy diaper clean-up for babies and young children; meant to be folded into the disposable diaper and discarded in the trash. During the last decade; however, marketers have targeted adults to offer products intended to supplement or replace toilet paper. Convenience and “clean” appear to trump all other purchase motivations. We are suckers for products that promise to save time and money, and still get the job done with little or no effort. Unfortunately, when it comes to supposedly “flushable” wipes, many of these man-made fiber products turn out to be nearly indestructible, so they ‘flush down, but they don’t flush out!”
Sewer systems around the world are now teeming with millions of flushed wipes that form monstrous “WIPES-BERGS” when they encounter another sewer enemy that gets carelessly dumped down kitchen sinks – F.O.G. (Fats Oils and Grease). The end result is not only a costly, disgusting mess for wastewater treatment plants but also translates to water and sewer price increases for customers. As an example, in New York City alone the amount of wipes extracted from sewage waste has reached about 1.3 billion cubic feet each year – with a hefty annual price tag of about $3 million. The cost to the city’s taxpayers is even higher; the outlay for wipes-related damages to sewer infrastructure was about $18 million over 5 years.
Water treatment experts are calling this proliferation of flushed wipes a global CRISIS. They are working with product manufacturers to encourage “flushable” content and advertising standards and, at the same time, conducting campaigns to re-educate consumer behavior to promote proper disposal.
Help stop FOG!
What is FOG?
FOG is an acronym for fats, oils and grease from food preparation and food scraps (meat fats and juices, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter, margarine, dressings, sauces and dairy products). When washed down the drain, FOG sticks to the insides of sewer pipes. FOG in wastewater is not easily decomposed by bacteria so these fats coat, congeal, and accumulate on pipes, pumps and equipment, and can result in blockages to sewer laterals and mains. These blockages can lead to spills and overflows that could be harmful to your health, can result in damage to your home, pollute the local waterways and groundwater, and harm fish and wildlife habitat. Excessive FOG is accumulating and causing problems at the wastewater treatment plant, resulting in an increase in operation and maintenance costs for the Municipal Authority.
How should FOG be handled at home?
Many people think home garbage disposals keep grease out of the plumbing system—this is not true. Many detergents claim to dissolve grease, but they simply pass it down the sewer line, causing problems elsewhere. To dispose of FOG properly, follow these simple steps:
- Never pour any cooking oils or grease into your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, toilet or other drain lines.
- Use paper towels to dry wipe grease and food from pots, pans and plates. Place contents into a garbage container before washing in the sink or dishwasher.
- Pour all unused cooking oils and grease into a container to cool and harden. When the container is full, place the container in a bag to prevent leakage and put it in the trash.
- Use baskets and strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids and dispose of them in the trash.
- Do not use hot water and soap to wash grease down the drain because it will harden in your pipes and can cause a sewer overflow in your home, as well as problems at the treatment plant.
- Do not use the toilet as a trash can. Dispose of cleaning and baby wipes, latex items, and personal hygiene products in the trash.
Maintenance Tips for Individual On-Lot Septic Systems
Out of sight, out of mind. That's what many people think after the toilet flushes or the sink drains. But that wastewater may be seen again if the household's septic system fails. A correctly designed and installed on-lot sewage disposal system can still malfunction if the homeowner does not properly operate and maintain it. There are some very simple measures to prevent malfunctions, ensure long-term use of on-lot systems, and protect our streams and groundwater from pollution as follows:
- Conserve water and reduce wastewater flow into the septic tank, especially during rainy, wet seasons when the ground is saturated.
- Have the septic tank pumped at least every 3 years, depending upon tank and household size.
- Avoid putting harsh chemicals in the septic system. Use non-toxic cleaning products such as baking soda to scrub toilets or boiling water to clear clogged drains.
- Keep a grease can handy and compost food garbage or put it in the trash. A garbage disposal adds 50% more solids to your system.
- Do not use the toilet to dispose of bulky, slow decomposing wastes.
- Inspect the septic tank, pipes, and drainage field annually.
- Maintain accurate records of the septic system, including design, installation, location, inspections, pumpings, malfunctions, and repairs.
- Prevent run-off from downspouts, sump pumps and paved surfaces from getting into the septic system.
- Keep heavy vehicles, equipment, and livestock away from the septic system.
- Do not plant trees and shrubs on or near the septic system.
- Don't wait—if your septic system shows signs of problems, act immediately. Regular septic tank pumping will prolong the life of your septic system. Keep in mind that a septic system usually costs less than $200 to pump, but several thousands to replace.