Public Service Announcements
MARCH 23, 2020: COVID19, ‘FLUSHABLE’ WIPES, and FATBERGs
DUWA and their member communities are asking residents to avoid flushing sanitation wipes even if the package states they are flushable! Other alternatives to toilet paper including paper towels and facial tissues also should not be flushed in local sewer lines as people practice guidelines to combat the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. While the “flushable” wipes concern is not new to wastewater facilities, there is an increased risk to our system due to the current shortage of toilet paper.
DUWA is working closely with Veolia North America, which operates and maintains the wastewater treatment plant, to educate people about the need to avoid flushing inappropriate items down their toilets.
We ask that our residents pay extra attention to what items they are using and flushing and remind you not to flush anything other than toilet paper, whether being used for personal hygiene purposes or for wiping and cleaning surfaces. Although many so-called “disposable” hand wipes are advertised as being safe for flushing, in reality they can cause backups in the system and contribute to buildup of foreign materials. In some cases, they can attach to buildups of grease in the system and create large blockages called “fatbergs.”
Here are some items that should not be flushed down sewer lines:
- Paper towels
- Wet wipes/baby wipes
- Facial tissues
As a general reminder, here are “Dos and Don’ts” for avoiding backups in the local sewer lines:
- DO NOT flush wipes, gloves, towels or other trash down the toilet, even if they’re labeled flushable.
- DO NOT pour grease down kitchen sinks or toilets. Instead, put grease in a sealed non-recyclable container and throw it out with regular garbage.
- DO toss dirty baby, makeup and cleaning wipes, tampons, sanitary pads and condoms in the trash.
- DO NOT use the sink as a toilet or the toilet as a garbage disposal. DO reduce and reuse by using compostable or reusable makeup applicators, like cotton balls, and cleaning supplies, like paper towels or rags.
- DO recycle finished toilet rolls, cardboard packaging from toothpaste and brushes, and plastic packaging from shampoos and shower gels.
Thank you for helping keep our communities and facilities clean and functioning!