Weekly Flush: Pumper Arrested for DUI After Crashing Into Power Pole

In other recent septic-related news, a Sierra Green reader asks an environmental expert whether or not she should flush dog waste into a septic system

Weekly Flush: Pumper Arrested for DUI After Crashing Into Power Pole

A pumper truck driver from Belleview, Florida, was arrested on a driving under the influence charge after police say he crashed the vehicle into a power pole, damaging it and leaving live wires precariously positioned near the roadway.

Authorities say the man, Michael Durham, 34, had a passenger in the truck when he crashed around 9:30 p.m. After smelling alcohol, an officer initiated sobriety tests, which Durham failed, according to police.

Although he claimed he only drank a single hard lemonade, his blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.061 two hours after the crash at the jail.

In other news, a Sierra Green reader looking to reduce her plastic waste asked an environmental columnist an interesting question: Can you flush dog waste down the toilet?

In the Hey Mr. Green column, readers ask questions on all sorts of environmental topics. In this issue, Mr. Green says local policies on flushing dog waste may vary greatly if a home is on a city sewer and that people should contact their local officials.

But Mr. Green says septic tanks and compost bins are off limits. “(Compost) temperatures might not get high enough in compost facilities to kill pathogens, including Salmonella, Campylobacter and Toxocara,” he writes. “Don’t flush dog excrement into a septic-tank system unless its installers and manufacturers verify that their system can handle it.”

In another close call involving an unsecured septic system, a 2-year-old girl from Perth, Ontario, recently fell into a septic tank, but was immediately rescued by her father and luckily wasn’t hurt in the incident.

Authorities were called and responded to the scene, where the father had rescued the girl and rinsed her off with a garden hose. The toddler was taken to the hospital as a precaution since she was exposed to hazardous material.

Algae blooms caused by agricultural or septic tank runoff are responsible for a blue-green algae outbreak in Wilmington, North Carolina, that killed a woman’s three dogs earlier this summer.

The dogs’ owner tells WTVD News that she took the dogs swimming at a local pond, but by the time they got home to get in the bath, they were having seizures and all three died shortly after.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they’d been exposed to cyanobacteria, which can thrive in warm, stagnant water overloaded with nutrients.

“By the end of this year, I plan to contact whoever I need to contact to make sure we have signs up at every body of water like this that says it's toxic,” the dogs’ owner tells WTVD News. “Because nobody knows. Kids could get in it and it could poison them as well.”


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