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Grease from Hub blocks septic lines, causes odor

September 20th, 2015 Posted in USU Life

By Brenna Kelly

A combination of factors are clogging the Taggart Student Center septic tanks and causing an odor to permeate the first floor.

According to TSC night manager Jeff Brann, the ovens from the Hub expel grease into the septic lines. Normally, this would not be a problem, but because the TSC is so old, the grease forms plugs in the well-worn pipes.

Capture1“Everything’s not flowing the way it ought to,” Brann said. “If it sits there long enough without moving, it starts to smell funky.”

Brann said “butthole” is an accurate description of the smell.

“We complain all the time about it,” he said, referring to the custodial staff. “It’s more noticeable later on in the night. We’ve filed multiple work orders for it.”

When the Hub starts to shut down around 9 p.m., there is less water flushing through the pipes, which allows blockages to grow. Brann said Hub customer service manager Anthony Linton is working with the TSC maintenance to find a solution.

“We’re kind of hitting it from a couple different ways, but it’s not going very quick,” he said.

Both the Hub staff and management declined to comment, only saying in an email that, “The Hub has no control over any of the systems in the TSC. Whatever was causing the smell was a TSC issue and they are the ones that controlled the smell and also the ventilation system, there is nothing our employees can do about it because it was something that had to do with the building not The Hub.”

Somehow, the Hub manages to maintain its patronage during the septic tank issues. Freshman Robert Pymm said that normally, the Hub smells like “garlic, cheese and hard work.” He studies in the Hub about every other day, but has not been around in the evening to experience the smell.

The grease-trap vats are in the same room as several air ducts, which sends air to the hallways on the bottom floor of the TSC. Julie Richins is a staff assistant in the student services office, which sits on the second floor, across from the stairs leading down to the Hub.

“The smell was only on the first floor,” Richins said. “You couldn’t smell it on the second floor, but as you would go down into the first floor, you could smell an awful smell. It was nasty.”

As a short-term solution, TSC maintenance workers will occasionally flush the pipes with water to clear the blockage.


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