Salt Lake City – People living in downtown Salt Lake City reportedly heard music during construction.
Musician Rosemary Olsen lives in downtown one block east of State Street. She said she heard the B augmented chord repeatedly outside the window.
“It’s really kind of weird, but it’s beautiful,” Olson said.
She posted the strange sounds on Nextdoor, a social media platform for neighbors to communicate with each other.
“A lot of people said, ‘It’s aliens!'” she said. “Some; it also said, ‘Oh, that’s my band practicing, it’s supposed to be Little Seven. I guess we screwed up.
Salt Lake City Utilities said the noise came from sewer technology used since 2015.
“We deploy the tones to the sewer to determine if there are blockages in the system that we can clear,” says supervisor Laura Briefer.
Some people who lived on the street said they heard music, perhaps chords from the building. Some say they heard tunes coming from the toilet! !
— Shelby Lofton (@newswithShelby) September 20, 2022
The technique is called the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool, or Sewer Rats. The transmitter is placed in one maintenance hole, while the receiver is placed in another maintenance hole a few feet away.
“One will emit the tone, and the receiver will listen to the tone,” said wastewater collection manager Steve Terry. “The receiver, if it hears this tone coming through, then it scores it based on how open and clear the pipe is.”
A change in volume indicates some kind of clogging or cleaning is required. The sewer rat gave each sewer a rating and a numerical score.
“Things like flushable wipes and things like fat, oil and grease can clog our drains,” says Briefer.
The technology keeps workers out of tight spaces, away from waste, and is environmentally friendly, she said.
“We have greatly reduced the amount of water and energy required to conduct traditional waterline assessments,” says Briefer.
Olsen said she found the notes pleasant.
“I think, it’s very earthy work, and they turned it into something ethereal and beautiful,” she said.
She has a question for the developers of the technology.
“Why did they choose an augmented chord? Does it have more thrust, does it have more power?” Olson said.
Residents are welcome to report what they hear to the department, the briefing said.
“The work we do is often invisible, and I don’t think people really appreciate how much is going on behind the scenes and underground,” she said.