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Earth Day: Investing in Our Sewer Infrastructure, Investing in Our Planet

April 20, 2023

Earth Day Investments

MetroConnects is excited to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. This year’s theme, “Investing in Our Planet,” is particularly fitting for us as we continue to grow, now serving more than 99,000 customers in Greenville County. Metro’s investments in Greenville County’s wastewater collection infrastructure help to protect our most precious resource — water. Let’s invest in our sewer and celebrate Earth Day this year by making some sewer-centered pledges! Together, we can make a difference.

Sewer-Safe Pledges

1. Inspect your lines. Pay attention to tail-tale signs of damaged or leaking sewer lines — a spongy yard, slow or smelly drains, wet spots, or mildew around your home all point to the need for some repair. Leaks from your sewer lines not only contaminate surrounding areas but also cause inflow and infiltration (I&I) of stormwater into sewer lines, which allows excess water to enter into the sewer system, potentially causing sanitary sewer overflow (SSOs). Call MetroConnects at (864) 277-4442 before you call a plumber. We will perform an inspection, which might include smoke or dye testing. If the damage is on our side of the lateral line, we will handle the repair.

2. Cap your cleanout. A clean-out is an access point for plumbers and maintenance crews to clear sewer blockages. They are usually located somewhere near a bathroom, garage, or basement in the exterior of the dwelling. Keeping your clean-out capped prevents debris and rainwater from entering the sanitary sewer system, which can potentially cause backups and SSOs.

3. Practice sewer-safe gardening. Earth Day is a great day to get out in the yard and do some planting. Just make sure you call 811 before you dig, and that you place trees, shrubs, and other large-rooted plants at least 10 feet from your sewer lines.

4. Practice the rule of three P’s. Poop, pee, and (toilet) paper are all that should ever go down the toilet. Wipes (even those labeled flushable), feminine hygiene products, paper towels, etc., can all cause backups in plumbing. This can occur at the source (no one wants a backup in the bathroom!), further along in the sewer collection system, or at the wastewater treatment facility. You can probably easily imagine the cost and inconvenience (and gross factor) of a backup at the source, but backups downstream in the sewer system or at the wastewater facility are costly as well. Not only does the work of clearing the pipes or the treatment facility machinery ultimately cost taxpayers money, it also expends extra fossil-fuel-burning energy to do the work.

5. Educate others. Share this post and other Earth Day actions with a friend. Only together can we make a difference!


Greenville Earth Day Events

Earth Day is the perfect excuse for getting outside and enjoying all Greenville has to offer. Here are a couple of free local outdoor activities to help you celebrate this Earth Day!

  • Make GVL Greener Day, Unity Park, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join community members and local buisnesses for a day of fun Earth Day activities, including a scavenger hunt, litter pick-up, games and prizes.
  • Container Gardening at Lichtenfelt Nurseries, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Learn how to build colorful container combinations for your garden at this spring-time event.
  • Music on the Mountain with Tim White, Eagle Mountain Winery, Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy Tim White’s acoustic covers on the Eagle Mountain Winery patio to close out Earth Day weekend.