NEXSTAR (KLAS) — While public health professionals are urging everyone to wipe down surfaces with disinfecting wipes to stave off coronavirus, water officials are worried a dramatic rise in the number of people flushing wipes will overwhelm wastewater treatment plants and home plumbing.
It’s important to throw wipes, paper towels and other cleaning materials in the trash, not down the toilet, the Clark County Water Reclamation District told 8 News Now:
“Wipes need to be thrown in the trash, not flushed own the toilet. Wipes clog sewer lines and pumps nd can cause sewer overflows. Now is not the time to have a sewer over-flow in your home. Sewer overflows are messy and costly. Plumbers may not be available during these unprecedented times.”Clark County Water Reclamation District
Even if your wipes claim to be “flushable,” authorities say they will back up your pipes and create sewage treatment issues.
Officials further warn that trying to flush them will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Wastewater facilities in neighboring state of California have already reported issues — especially in metropolitan areas, where centralized collection systems rely on gravity and water flow to move waste along.
“The systems were not designed for individual nylon wipes and paper towels,” officials said. “The wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and therefore clog systems very quickly.”
When wipes create backup, overflows can spill into lakers, rivers and oceans — where the impact on public health and the environment will be even greater.
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