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Throw them away – don’t flush ‘flushable’ wipes

The Laurens Commission of Public Works is asking for help from the public to keep the sewers clear by disposing disinfectant wipes and paper towels in the trash rather than attempting to flush them down toilets.

In a press release submitted by Laurens CPW, the utility provider explained it’s a problem that is happening across the state.

“While the Laurens CPW strongly encourages all residents to follow the Centers for Disease Control recommendations to clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is important to discard those items in the trash, not the toilet. 

Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Even wipes labeled ‘flushable’ will clog pipes and interfere with sewage collection and treatment throughout the city. 

Wastewater treatment facilities around the state 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. 

Wipes are among the leading causes of sewer system backups, impacting sewer system and treatment plant pumps and treatment systems. Many spills go to our lakes and rivers where they have broad ranging impacts on public-health and the environment. Preventing sewer spills is important, especially during this COVID-19 emergency, for the protection of public health and the environment.”

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