Giant mophead pulled out of Middle Oconee Water Reclamation Facility
On Jan. 19, six operators at the Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department pulled an almost 900-pound mophead out of the equipment at the Middle Oconee Water Reclamation Facility.
A mophead is the tangled mess of “flushable” wipes, face masks, gloves, paper towels and other items flushed down the toilet that clog water treatment plant equipment. Laurie Loftin, water conservation coordinator at the utilities department, said these clumps can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage to infrastructure and result in raised sewer costs.
In an email to The Red & Black, Loftin said the occurrence of mopheads has increased significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, mopheads appeared about every six months. Now, water treatment plant workers are pulling them from the sewer system every three weeks.