City of Blackfoot Sewer Department

Frequently Asked Questions

What is wastewater?
Wastewater is used water. It includes substances such as human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps and chemicals. In homes, this includes water from sinks, showers, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers. Businesses and industries also contribute their share of used water that must be treated.
How is wastewater treated?
The wastewater is treated by means of mechanical separation, gravity, and biological treatment. As the wastewater enters our treatment plant, it flows thru the headworks. Inside the headworks is a bar screen that captures large pieces conveyed by the stream (trash, clothing, etc.). The flow then passes thru the grit classifier. This is an aerated area that allows small pieces of waste that are heavier than water to fall out. Flow then enters our primary clarifier. The primary clarifier removes solid material and floatable portions of the wastewater. Wastewater proceeds to the aeration basins where nitrogen and phosphorus removal occurs. The final step is disinfection by ultra violate light. Solids from this process are treated in digesters, then hauled to a local farm for use as crop nutrients.
What if my sewer is not flowing normally?
When you flush your toilet, run your washing machine, or use your sink, you expect it to drain. What should you do if it is not draining? The first step is to determine if the issue is affecting your entire house. If only one drain or one room is affected, then it may be an issue inside of your house. If this is the case attempt to fix the issue yourself or contact a plumber. If every drain is affected, it may be an issue in your lateral line or the City’s line. The City’s line and its responsibility ends where your service lateral is connected (tapped) to the main line. You may call the City at 785-8616 and we will come check our line free of charge. If our line is clear, you will need to investigate on your own or contact a plumber to determine the issue.
I run a business in town, how is my bill calculated?
The City of Blackfoot cannot base sewer bills directly on flow. The reason for this is two fold. First, not every separate business has a separate water meter. Secondly, each business contributes a different waste type depending on category. A restaurant discharges a different waste stream than a hair salon. Each business within a category is also evaluated on potential flow amount. A restaurant that has a fire code capacity of 150 has a much greater flow potential than a restaurant with a capacity of 15. An office that has 500 square feet of usable space has a lower potential for flow that one that has 5000 square feet. Click here to view the billing chart used to assess each business. If you feel that your business is incorrectly assessed, contact Utility Billing at 785-8600 ext. 2.
How often should I clean my grease trap or grease interceptor?
Every restaurant, cafeteria, or large non-residential kitchen is required to have a functioning Grease Removal System (GRS) in place. Grease Removal Systems help protect users and the City’s pipes by removing grease, oils, and solids prior to discharge. For these to function efficiently, they must be serviced regularly. These devices come in two general types. The first and smaller type is a grease trap. These are commonly made of plastic or metal and are located near three compartment sinks. These are required to be emptied, checked, and cleaned once per week. The second type of GRS is a grease interceptor. These are larger in ground units with capacities that range from 1,000 to 1,500 gallons. These are required to be pumped once per 90 days. Each time a GRS is serviced it must be documented. This documentation must be kept on the premises for 3 years.