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County News

Posted on: October 31, 2019

Flushing Wipes Clogs Pipes


Wet wipes are commonplace nowadays. Baby wipes to cleaning wipes, most of them end up in our toilets, causing major backups in the sewer system. These durable wipes may go down your toilet, but they do not dissolve quickly and will back up the plumbing in your home and the sewer system. Wipes in your pipes attach and turn into large masses that create clogs. If you use wipes, it is best to put them in the garbage after use, especially if you live in a house with older pipes.

Recently, Stafford County Public Works crews were dispatched to the Aquia Creek Pump Station to remove a massive clog created by wipes (pictured in photo). Fortunately, crews acted quickly to prevent any serious damage that may have had severe consequences. Public Works crews routinely respond to incidents of clogged pipes in Stafford County, many of them due to wipes.

The cleanup of sewer backups caused by the improper disposal of wipes leads to higher utility bills, costly home plumber visits and expensive pipe replacement. Sewer overflows and backups also pose health hazards to people and pets.

Stafford County makes every attempt to prevent backups in the wastewater collection system before they occur, but the County is only responsible for the maintenance and operation of the public portion of the sanitary sewer system. By disposing of all wipes in the trash instead of the toilet, you can help to prevent sewage overflows, backups, and costly repairs at home.

For more educational resources or information on what not to flush, visit:

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