Orem employees stuck cleaning gunk due to unexplained weekly dump

Posted at 7:35 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 21:35:34-04

OREM, Utah -- A lot of gunk is clogging a local water treatment plant.

Orem City officials said the problem started four months ago and it happens once a week.

The Water Reclamation manager Lawrence Burton said it takes at least two days and a couple of guys to clean it out.

"It's frustrating and it's time-consuming for us," Burton said.

Burton has worked there for more than 30 years and has never seen material like this in his treatment system. Lab results showed the gray gunk that collected on top of treatment center was a fibrous substance.

"They said it was a type of paper or cloth maybe," Burton explained. "It has no animal byproduct, oil, and grease. No petroleum. It's non toxic. It's not going to hurt anything."

It may not hurt people, but the gunk hurts the maintenance flow.

"It's so heavy and dense that we can't pump it, and so we have to use large amounts of water to pump it through the system," Burton said.

The city wants to know who is causing the problem. There are 6,000 manholes, and Burton believes someone is dropping all this gunk into one of them.

"It's extremely frustrating, we come in, we don't see it, someone is dumping it uptown late-early morning; by the time it gets up to us it's between 9 and 11 a.m."

If you know who is causing the problem, call Orem Public Safety or Linden Public Safety.