Restaurant grease backs up Dickinson sewer linesDickinson is in a slick spot, and it’s not because of the oil boom. On Friday, city staff said restaurants are dumping grease down the drains, causing pipes to clog up and leading to thousands of dollars in damages.
Dickinson is in a slick spot, and it’s not because of the oil boom. On Friday, city staff said restaurants are dumping grease down the drains, causing pipes to clog up and leading to thousands of dollars in damages.
“We did have a large grease block up in one of our sewer mains that did create a backup situation,” City Engineer Shawn Soehren said during a Monday Dickinson City Commission meeting at City Hall.
City Accounting Manager Tina Johnson reported at the meeting that Dickinson paid for two claims for $7,500 in damages from the backup. Each were submitted in March.
Four additional claims have been submitted, Soehren said Friday.
“We do have additional ones in, and some of those are above the $7,500,” Soehren said. “There was one that came in and spoke, said they had damages in excess of $20,000.”
The wastewater backup fund has less than $66,000 to pay up to $7,500 for each claim, according to the city financial report.
“This is a lot of dollars, and I’m sure for the homeowners that had this happen it’s no fun,” Mayor Dennis Johnson said.
The engineering department has an idea where the source of the problem is, but Soehren would not specify which restaurants were responsible.
Proper disposal of cooking grease includes daily cleanings and giving grease to a company that collects it, said Pam Schmaltz, Applebee’s general manager in Dickinson. She said she hadn’t heard of the backups or who may be responsible.
“I don’t see how unless we don’t catch the new employees sometimes,” she said. “The only grease that we pull out is from the fires and they go right to the barrels.”
Backups from grease have occurred before, the city engineer said, adding that city can bill the restaurants for damages and cleanup.
The engineering department has stepped up efforts to prevent another situation like this, Soehren said.