Lexington reminds residents not to flush wipes

With toilet paper being in short supply, many people are relying on alternatives such as baby wipes, flushable wipes and paper towels. Lexington's Division of Water Quality reminds everyone that these items do not break down and can cause problems in both home and city sewers.

“Even if the package says 'flushable,' please don't flush any wipes.“ said Rod Chervus, Collections and Conveyance Manager for Water Quality. “Especially right now, when lots of people are using flushable wipes, it's important to dispose of them correctly.”

While there hasn't been an increase in wipes tangling up in pump station equipment yet, residents are asked to be mindful that only toilet paper and human waste are flushed down toilets. Items other than toilet paper and human waste can clog household pipes, leading to a costly visit from a plumber. If these items make it to the city's sewer system, they can clog pipes and tangle up pump station equipment. This can cause sewer overflows from manholes into the environment as well as expensive repairs to pump stations.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for these issues. Instead of flushing wipes or paper towels, keep a trash can with a lid and bag in your bathroom. Other common bathroom items that can cause problems in the sewer include bleach wipes, baby wipes, floss, flossing picks, feminine hygiene products, rags and paper towels. All of this belongs in the trash. Remember to securely tie and double bag this trash to keep our waste collectors safe.

Check out this video demonstration of why toilet paper is safe to flush while wipes and paper towels are not.  

Keep up with the Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works on Facebook with Live Green Lexington
and on Twitter and Instagram at @LiveGreenLex.

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