Wipes Clog Pipes

WHAT TO DO WITH STUFF OTHER THAN TOILET PAPER 

So, we all know toilet paper has become the new currency, and many families may not have it to use at home. Some information about what to flush, and how to deal with other materials:

DISINFECTING WIPES----OR WIPES OF ANY KIND

With all the news about using wipe products to battle COVID 19, please be sure you are disposing of all wipes in the trash, so as not to cause plumbing issues and backups for you or for City systems. WIPES DON’T BELONG IN THE TOILET AT ALL, NO MATTER WHAT THE LABEL SAYS. Just because you CAN flush it doesn’t mean you SHOULD flush it. Save yourself plumbing bills and inconvenience by simply throwing all wipes in the trash can.

So-called “flushable” wipes might disappear from view in the bowl, but they still cause issues down the line. Frequently, flushed wipes hit a 45-degree elbow within plumbing pipes; that’s when they start congregating, ultimately causing a blockage and backup.

Even some wipes marketed as biodegradable can still cause issues because they do not disintegrate quickly enough, or break down all the way. Wipes manufacturers aren’t legally required to pass any test to call their wipes “flushable”. The industry can label them flushable because they are able to clear your toilet, but then they end up in the sewers and in water treatment plants where they damage wastewater equipment. The wipes stall impellers inside of the pump, and the pumps burn out.

WHAT IF I HAVE TO USE PAPER TOWELS OR TISSUES?

PLEASE FLUSH ONLY TOILET PAPER. Paper towels and tissues are made to be “strong” to hold up against wet messes…..this means they will not disintegrate quickly or at all once in your pipes. These items will very likely cause a backup! NOT what you need anytime, and especially not now. An idea: Place a dedicated vessel (box, trash can, etc) next to all toilets and line it with plastic grocery bags. Place any non-toilet paper items in the vessel and, when full, tie it up and toss it in the trash. Keep children and pets away from this vessel.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T DO ANY OF THIS AND GET A CLOG OR BACKUP? 

Public Works staff is reporting to work in teams, as to maintain as many services as possible. If you DO experience a backup or a clog, remember that you are responsible for your sewer line from the toilet/kitchen sinks in your homes and businesses to the main line, which is often found in the City Right of Way/street. If you DO experience a backup/clog, step one should be to call a plumber.

So, please keep your systems in mind during this time, and practice proper best practices to keep those systems flowing correctly. These are guidelines to follow ANY TIME, but especially now with toilet paper in such short supply.

Thanks for helping to keep everyone healthy!