March 20, 2020 – With the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Garland County, the Hot Springs Utilities Department would like to remind our homebound residents of the dangers of flushing disinfecting wipes down their commodes. That also goes for paper towels, tissues, napkins and feminine hygiene products.
Flushable wipes are not suitable for sewer systems. They are not really “flushable,” nor are they biodegradable. Combined with grease, they are the biggest cause of sewer blockages. While they will easily flush down the drain, that is where the unseen problems begin. Wipes are effective in helping kill bacteria and viruses, but they are big offenders when it comes to the sewers. Like paper towels, they can lodge in the sewer main. When they make it into a lift station, they can clog the pumps, sometimes causing them burn out.
Paper towels are designed to soften and absorb when wet, unlike bathroom tissue, which is designed to break apart shortly after getting wet. Paper towels do not disintegrate, no matter where they are in the sewer system. Paper towels expand when wet. When introduced into the sewer system, they expand to their full absorption size and stay that way, creating the potential for a clogged sewer service line or main. When they get caught on tree roots that have entered the piping, a big clog can result, leading to a sewer backup.
Not only are feminine hygiene products too bulky to pass through pipes, they frequently cause blocked sewer service lines and mains.
Besides taking hours and a lot of manpower to correct, sewer backups are costly. If the blockage is in a service line, individuals may have a plumbing bill, not to mention the potential for damage to property. If the wipes, paper towels and other similar items block the public main, everyone suffers.
Please, only dispose of bathroom tissue in your commode. Avoid introducing grease into the sewer system. Everything other than bathroom tissue goes in the waste receptacle.
To view a full list of items that should never be flushed, visit www.cityhs.net/do_not_flush.
For more COVID-19 City-related releases, visit www.cityhs.net/covid-19.