The Mysterious Sewer Blob

Photo: City of Lewiston

The City of Lewiston, Maine, got an unusual sewer problem: its main sewer line is being clogged by a mysterious 50 to 60 foot (15 to 18 m) long doughy blob!

City crews discovered the clog earlier this month after responding to complaints of blocked sewer lines downtown. Jones said crews opened a manhole at the Bates Street intersection and saw the clog - an oozing, white blob that looks like uncooked dough.

"We've tried punching through it, but each time we do, it just oozes back over the hole," he said. "It really looks like dough."

Link - via Boing Boing

Biodegradable toilet paper and baby wipes which were stuck on something that still allowed water flow. Cracks, which are obviously present due to pipe fragments visible in the "blob" and leaks in the joints of the sewer line allowed water to escape at a rate which kept the upstream manholes from overflowing into the street and alerting the population while causing the blockage to increase.

From the looks of it this is some hokey 12 inch line with a waterproof seal only on the lower portions. I'm guessing this is a very low flow line or the paper came down in a very rapid time period.

The quality of the municipality's sewer department is evident as they don't have a rodding machine and hydrojetter to fix this.
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If you read the article, there's a pizza restaurant close by. The blob "looks like uncooked dough". The pizza restaurant owner "refuses to comment". No mystery here.
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I am just wondering if this has happened before? I did a little research and couldn't find anything. There has to be another reason then dough from the pizza place. If the pizza dough was the culprit it would seem like every "Little Italy" across the nation would have major sewer problems. Lets not forget about Italy itself. I am sure France would have had major sewer problems also. I can just imagine what some Baguette dough would do if this where the case. Seems to me like insufficient sewer lines. Unless the people at the pizza place where shoving massive amounts of Pizza dough down a man hole. It would be much easier just to chunk it in the dumpster. Not everyone uses common sense though.
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