When we use the restroom, we rarely think about what happens next — after we flush.
But there is a whole group of workers in the City of Wichita Falls that do — the utilities department.
They have to keep an eye on where the waste goes next, the sewer system — by using a robotic device with a camera.
“Well, we use the camera system to enter the mains. The sewer system and we televise so that we can see whether we’ve got broken pipes, dislocated pipes, blockages, things of that nature — so that we know what we are getting into,” Nicki Lowery, Wastewater Collections Sewer Rehab Superintendent, said.
Lowery said the city is under an agreement with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — to try to reduce the number of overflows in the system.
So, they use this technology to help meet their internal goals of decreasing the amount of overflows.
“We try and televise seven percent of our system every year and so every 15 years or so 100 percent of our system has been televised,” Utilities Operations Manager, Daniel Nix, said.
There are 700 miles of sewer lines of that, about 50 miles is inspected each year.
The camera makes it easier to find clogs.
And they have found a little bit of everything over the years.
“I know sometimes children accidentally drop things in the toilet when they are playing so we get toys — we get jewelry, we get all kinds of things that we find in the sewer mains,” Lowery said.
“All of that translates back to the citizen of we are using their money better and we are keeping our infrastructure in good condition,” Nix said.
One of the biggest problems that can cause sewer problems is grease poured down the drain.
Nix told KFDX/KJTL the best way to dispose of that is to simply put it in a can and throw it away — rather than washing it down the drain.