Some Madison Township residents learned the hard way last month that items marked "flushable" frequently are not. A sanitary sewer overflow occurred recently behind residences and a school near the Blacklick Estates water treatment plant.

Some Madison Township residents learned the hard way last month that items marked "flushable" frequently are not. A sanitary sewer overflow occurred recently behind residences and a school near the Blacklick Estates water treatment plant.

Township trustee Gary McDonald said residents on Shoreline Court reached out after noticing liquid and debris around the sewage cap near their house. McDonald and Public Works Superintendent Dave Weaver inspected the site and followed up with Aqua Ohio to clear the obstruction.

Officials with Aqua Ohio then sent an email to the township on Nov. 10, advising that residents need to be a part of the solution in preventing sanitary sewer overflows. And when they do occur, the first call should be to Aqua Ohio.

Aqua Ohio representative Jeff LaRue said the company has a goal of "zero SSOs." When an obstruction occurs, residents should notify the Aqua Ohio call center at 877-987-2782.

According to LaRue, the company has implemented a monitoring and preventive maintenance program that includes remote scouring along the 26 miles of collection lines in Blacklick Estates, which includes more than 600 manholes.

"When this scouring proves insufficient, Aqua uses mobile cameras to investigate the cause," LaRue wrote in the email. "The most common culprits are grease and towels. It's also not unusual for the cameras to discover bricks, stones, even 2-by-4s and oil filters in the sanitary system."

Large blockages require the company to excavate and repair the lines, he said.

"Public awareness of what should or shouldn't be put in the sanitary sewer is crucial ... we truly regret the occurrence behind the homes on Shoreline and will pay special attention with the hopes of preventing future problems," LaRue wrote.

According to Aqua Ohio, common items that sometimes are marked as "flushable," but should not be put down drains or flushed in toilets, include: disposable diapers; tampons and tampon applicators; sanitary napkins; cleaning or facial wipes of any kind; bandages; cotton balls and swabs; condoms; medication; fats, oils or grease; automotive fluids; paint, solvents, sealants or thinners; poisons and hazardous waste; and pet feces.