Ohio City Purchases Truck to Tackle Wipes Clogging Pipes

Aug. 5, 2020

North Olmsted, Ohio is purchasing a new maintenance service truck to tackle flushable wipes.

North Olmsted, Ohio is in the process of purchasing a new maintenance service truck to tackle flushable wipes, which do not break down in wastewater. 

The cost of the maintenance vehicle is $131,000, reported Cleveland.com.

“The need for this new vehicle isn’t just the wipes, but the changing characteristics of society in general,” said North Olmsted Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Brian Blum. “People tend to flush more stuff down the toilet. We just see a lot more material coming through the sewer system that can’t necessarily be treated by the treatment plant, nor can it pass through a pump. We’ve put in big grinders that kind of shred up the material in the wastewater that would otherwise clog up in the pumps.”

The current protocol is that off-site equipment must be brought back to the maintenance shop for repair. With the new maintenance truck, the treatment plant adds a vehicle that allows employees to take the workshop onsite to different locations throughout the system.

Blum also adds that the vehicle will allow the maintenance crew do things like pull pumps out of the ground. It also has a welder unit, a compressor and different attachments that are mounted to the truck, reported Cleveland.com.

“We’ll also have all of the tools stocked up in all of this cabinetry that’s mounted along the truck itself. This unit is coming with a 2-ton crane that offers a longer reach,” Blum said. “There are some key areas at the lift stations where we need to pull grinders out of the channels.”

The vehicle was purchased through a state bid, which was a scheduled pre-pandemic purchase, and is coming out of the wastewater treatment plant budget. The vehicle is replacing a regular pickup truck.

Blum is hoping to get the truck by the end of the year. According to him, the lead time on a vehicle like this can be eight to 10 months.

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Cristina Tuser