Fat in sewer spoils sample

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn—In testing treated wastewater at Elburn’s plant in June, village engineers found a fecal chloroform violation. Village Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said fats in the sewer system could be the culprit.

“They believe it relates back to fats, oils and greases getting into the tank,” Nevenhoven said.

The engineers, from Baxter Woodman, addressed the problem by increasing the chlorine in the wastewater, Nevenhoven said.

“We are watching it closely so it doesn’t happen again,” Nevenhoven said.

He said restaurant owners must prevent grease from getting into the sewer system by using fat traps.

“The restaurants have to pay people to haul the grease away,” Nevenhoven said.

The Kane County Health Department and licensed plumbers check the traps when they are installed to make sure they work properly.

“The grease traps are there, but if they are not cleaned, not emptied, off the grease goes,” Nevenhoven said.

The village cannot check the traps unless they are outside the restaurants and unless it hires a licensed plumber to do the check.

Village trustee Ken Anderson suggested that the village increase public education about the need to keep grease traps clean.