Wipes warning: Be careful what you flushBeaver County Times, Pa. — Patrick O'Shea Beaver County Times, Pa.
March 26-- Mar. 26--Spending more time at home because of the coronavirus crisis also means residents are making more use of their plumbing.
That and the run on some items such as toilet paper have led to more and more use of sanitizing and "flushable" wipes, which could be a bad thing for sewer systems.
Pennsylvania American Water is warning residents not to flush these wipes, paper towels and other paper products not intended for wastewater systems down toilets or it could lead to sewer backups and in-home plumbing issues, which may be expensive to repair.
"Flushing or dumping the wrong things down the drain can cause problems in your local sewer system and cause blockages in your own home," said Jim Gable, senior manager of southeast operations for Pennsylvania American Water. "Many sewer blockages occur between your house and our sewer main, where the property owner is responsible for correcting and paying for the repair. During this already stressful time, we want to help our customers avoid blockages that could create costly plumbing emergencies."
Gable added that improper disposal can also cause problems in the local sewer system. "Your dedicated local wastewater system employees continue to come to work every day and make sure your community's sewage is being properly treated," he continued. "We provide an essential service, so please help us out by putting wipes, paper towels and other products in the trash where they belong, not in your sewer system where they can damage our equipment and cause blockages."
In addition to wipes, Pennsylvania American Water also warns against pouring grease, fat or oil down the drain. When washed down the drain, grease and oil can adhere to the insides of the pipes that carry the wastewater from homes and businesses to the sewer treatment facility.
Over time, this buildup of grease can restrict the flow of wastewater, leading to blockages that can cause sewage overflows or backups in homes and businesses. It can also have an adverse effect on the environment if the overflow enters local rivers, lakes and streams.
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