Nobody wants any more sewage spills because of Fats Oils and Grease (FOG) or blue gloves or sanitary wipes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Valdosta Utilities apparently cleaned up this one in April off of Bemiss Road before it could get into Cherry Creek, since the bacterial sample I took showed very little E. coli. Here’s a Valdosta press release and video on how to prevent such spills.
The City of Valdosta is asking residents to avoid flushing sanitation wipes even if the package states they are flushable! 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 recently.
We ask that our community members 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 the buildup of foreign materials. Wastewater treatment facilities around the U.S. are already reporting issues with their sewer management collection systems which were not designed for individual nylon wipes and paper towels. The wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and therefore clog systems very quickly.
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 makeup, cleaning, and baby wipes, tampons and sanitary pads in the trash.
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 community and facilities clean and functioning!
Here is the Valdosta No wipes in pipes video:
Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for pointing out this Valdosta press release.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!