Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grease Clogs Up Johnson County

Local journalist Finn Bullers (who recently covered Bridging The Gap's National Public Lands Day event) published an article in the Kansas City Star on Sunday about the massive grease problem in Johnson County's sewer system. Just one more reason why a sustainable KC Metro region will be better for all of us.

With its upscale shops and high-priced hops, the intersection of 119th Street and Roe Avenue is a bull’s-eye of suburban affluence in Greater Kansas City.

It’s also a heart attack waiting to strike.

Lurking below the Leawood intersection — with its cluster of restaurants and residents — are sewer lines choked with a nasty mix of waste and grease that threaten to trigger a major infarction.

It happened in 1998. And it could happen again.

“There was so much grease in the line it literally blew out the manhole lid. It caused a backup and overflowed something fierce,” said Betsy Betros, Johnson County’s director of pollution control.

“Putrefying grease is just an awful smell. But get that mixed with sewage and it’s beyond description.”

Today, 119th and Roe tops the county’s top 10 list of locations most plagued by grease clogs.

It seems our love affair with crab rangoon, chimichangas and seared sirloin has left unpleasant deposits underneath our sprawling metropolis.

Read the rest of the article here.

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