The Phantom Dumper

About the Phantom Dumper

Someone is illegally dumping a fibrous (likely insulation) material into Orem’s Sewer System.  It is costing the City of Orem nearly $4,000 in man hours each week to clean up.  Please lead us to the “Phantom Dumper” so that we can prevent this unnecessary clogging and waste of time and money.  This has to stop!

In the News

What People are Saying about the Phantom Dumper

  • “This sounds like an episode of The Simpsons.”

  • “It can’t be that difficult. Only so many facilities could produce something like this and only so many facilities would be tied into this connection of the system. It runs down hill so I would sure think it wouldn’t be that difficult to locate the culprit, but apparently it is… I dunno.”

    -Dustin B.
  • “There is no one dumping, the foam and issue started occurring after changes to the plant’s routine. It’s an issue that is the result of plant processes. They’ve not seen any indicators of the system entering the collection system.”

    – Some_Chair_Occupant


Stop the Phantom Dumper. Earn $2,500.


updated 1/10/17

  • We have been testing different materials and have found a match with the type of insulation that is commonly sprayed into attics and used in homes. This insulation is made with recycled paper, which would make sense with our original test showing it was a “fibrous material.”We aren’t ruling out all other materials, but we have increased our focus on companies using this type of insulation.
  • Until recently, the Phantom Dumper usually struck on Thursday mornings. We are now getting hit on different days during the week, but always in the morning. It hits the treatment plant about 10 am.
  • The dumps have been happening weekly for nearly 5 months.
  • Two forensic labs identified the substance as a non-toxic, non-animal fat, fibrous material such as ground-up paper, cardboard, carpet, sawdust, insulation, or similar product.
  • The Phantom Dumper is most likely using one of the city’s manholes. The volume of the dumps makes the use of a drain or toilet unlikely.
    • The manhole is probably on a quiet street / secluded area.

Case Photos/Videos

Aeration Basin
Gunk on the Water
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Report a Tip

Dumping this type of material into the sewer system and is punishable by law.  Fines could be as great as $1,000 per day and the parties responsible could face Class “B” Misdemeanor charges.