Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | Home RSS

Thinking about sewage really isn’t on any do-now list

May 22, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Did you ever have those days when everything seems to be in good shape, but there's no visible bottom to your pile of stuff?

If there's no visible bottom, things fall out.

And it did.

Several days ago I, like everyone in town, got that survey about sewage thoughts. I try not to think of sewage, but I dutifully read the survey with anticipation of answering all those questions.

Until I got to question 4. Which asks, in better words than I can remember, if I have some kind of backup stopper. Since I don't know what that thing is and thought at first they were writing in Greek - I can't understand Greek, either - I had to call.

So I called the city. Two places. I started in the wrong spot. The right spot, our city engineer's office, sent me to McClure Engineering. There I talked to four people before I was done, and I still don't have an answer. The main guy, Derick Anderson, was out of town Thursday morning when I needed the definitive answer, so I don't have it.

What I do know is: if you don't know, you probably don't have it.

So, while I wanted to explain to you what that was and the necessity of having or not having it, I can't. All I can suggest is if you don't know and you care, call McClure. The lady there was very nice.

At 64 years old, I figure I should know these kind of things, and it surprises me when I don't know. Worse, I didn't know I didn't know - I never gave it a thought. I never thought sewage was a subject to spend time thinking about. Of course, I've never had it in my basement - God forbid.

Too many people in town have had that problem, and I admit my first thought, "that's too bad," was followed closely by "sure glad it wasn't me."

Isn't that sad? I spend too much time, I fear, thanking God the problem didn't fall in my lap rather than seeing what I can do to help. So now I've guilted myself into mandatory completion of that sewer survey.

In Bill Shea's story in Thursday's Messenger, it mentions a $10 a month fee for sewer improvements. That's a tough amount to swallow, especially since they don't say if it's a one-year, five-year or forever plan. Five dollars a month doesn't seem to hurt so badly, but if $10 is needed, $10 is needed.

I'm still thinking about my survey answers; I just know I'll fill it in.

But I sure would like to know what a sanitary sewer backflow prevention device such as a sewer plug, stopper, valve, etc., actually is. And it should be installed on my private service line.

I'm just glad I have a private service line. It sounds so wrong, otherwise.

By the way, I went online at to find the name of the gadget I wondered about. You also can fill out the survey online.

Forms just be returned by Friday, either by mail or the online version.

Who knew thinking about sewage could take up so much of my time.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



I am looking for: