Holding the Line– WLSSD Continues Effective Services
In times of crisis, we often realize things we take for granted. Grocery store employees who work long hours away from their families to be sure deliveries are received and shelves are stocked. The healthcare personnel working tirelessly to keep up with the pace of demand. And, utility workers who continue to ensure that our lights and phones work, our homes are warm, our drinking water is clean, our trash and recycling gets pick up, and our toilets flush and our dirty water drains.
Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about where their dirty water goes once it leaves their homes, they just want it to go away. Under normal circumstances, we don’t really need to spend a lot of time thinking about it. But, as we are all aware, times are not normal. Unlike many of us who are staying at home caring for our loved ones or working remotely, our region depends on licensed operators and skilled mechanics, electricians, welders, and more to keep utilities working. These folks work at places like Western Lake Superior Sanitary District to ensure that our sewers continue to bring dirty water out of our homes and keep the sewer system flowing and unclogged so that sewage doesn’t backup into basements or cause overflows that could get into Lake Superior.
Have you ever thought about what might happen if you couldn’t flush your toilet, or your shower wouldn’t drain, or you couldn’t do laundry or wash dishes? What would you do? The average household uses about 300 gallons of water each day for drinking, cleaning, and other daily activities. Imagine needing to find a place to put that much dirty water each day if the sewers didn’t flow and the wastewater treatment plant wasn’t cleaning the water! Keeping dirty water away from the public is wastewater treatment’s number one job. Public and environmental health depends on it.
WLSSD continues to economically and effectively clean our region’s water—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, despite the difficulties we collectively face. We treat about 40 million gallons of dirty water every day!
While equipment and staff are in place to do most of the work, there are things you can do to help out too. Don’t flush anything down the drain that shouldn’t go there – including all types of wipes, tissue, paper towels, grease, or hazardous waste. If you run out of TP and need an alternative, throw it in the garbage. Otherwise, you risk plugging up your pipes and could cause blockages and overflows in the public sewer system.
You may not have thought much about dirty water before, but now you know that there are dedicated operators, skilled staff, engineers, and many more working behind the scenes every day to ensure that we have clean water and protect public health. The next time you flush your toilet, clean a dish, take a shower, turn on your TV, change the thermostat, or toss something in the trash, give a nod to the utility workers that are dedicated to providing you with the comforts of home every day.