Cleaning wipes, flushable wipes, paper towels and rags are being found in sanitary sewers at an alarming rate and causing major issues with sewer collection systems. Public Works’ employees are working hard in this unprecedented time to continue proactive operation and maintenance of the water and wastewater treatment facilities. Director of Public Works, Jason Towery, says flushing wipes, even those labeled flushable, can lead to sewer backups and plumbing issues. Crews have already responded to calls for the cleanup of sewer backups caused by the improper disposal of wipes. If you use wipes, put them in the waste basket after use.
Water and wastewater services are extremely important for the protection of public health and to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Water is essential to everyone and we all play a role in wastewater treatment. To help keep the public safe and sewer systems functioning properly, Stafford County Utilities is reminding people that the following products should not be flushed:
- Baby wipes or cleaning wipes
- Paper towels
- Dental Floss
- Tampons and sanitary products
Unlike toilet paper, these products do not break down once they are flushed. When these products make their way into the public sewer system, they clump together, causing very large clogs in the sewer lines. These products also get tangled in pump stations requiring repair of equipment and causing backups and potential discharges of raw sewage into homes, businesses and Stafford County waterways. The picture is a ball of wipes causing a clog in a grinder at Celebrate Virginia.
Stafford continues to operate its water treatment system during the COVID-19 public health emergency, delivering high quality, safe water for consumption. For the latest information on the County’s response to COVID-19, visit: https://staffordcountyva.gov/2119/COVID-19-Coronavirus
If you experience a clogged pipe in your home, call a plumber. If you experience or see a sewer overflow, call Stafford County Utilities at (540) 658-8695.