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article imageRats surface in toilets in one Midtown area

By Carolyn E. Price     Jan 7, 2007 in Environment
Look before you sit!
Residents in a midtown area of Tucson, Arizona have learned how to look before they sit.
For the past 10 years in the Blenman-Elm neighbourhood, just east of the University of Arizona, rats have been swimming their way through the sewage system into their toilets!
The rats are not the beady-eyed, fat ones that nightmares are made of ... unless it just so happens to be your toilet they're splashing around in the middle of the night.
"Mostly they're white. They're not like the rats you think of when you think of New York City sewers," said Laura Hagen Fairbanks, spokeswoman for the county's Wastewater Management Department.
Although no one knows how they got there, Hagen Fairbanks said that the Wastewater Management theroy is that there was a small family of rats living in the sewer, and every once in a while one of them finds its way to a bathroom.
Making it from the sewer up the lines into someone's toilet is a long and difficult trip. There is a four-inch wide pipe, called the house connection sewer, or HCS, that runs from a house to a sewer main. And there's no "trap door" or other barrier in place. If the lines are running, the rats have to hold their breath and swim uphill in the pipes against the water current. "If the rat makes it through your HCS, that's a determined rat," she said.
I don't know. If I saw one of the red beady eyes staring at me, I'd be out of there so fast your head would be spinning!!
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