Don’t flush those wipes

Thu, 12/17/2020 - 6:00pm
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Superintendents of the New Shoreham Wastewater Treatment facility have reminded residents many times of the damage that flushing so-called disposable wipes down the toilet can cause clogging and other headaches for the department.

The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) also issued a press release this past week reminding all Rhode Islanders to refrain from flushing disinfectant wipes — including those labeled “flushable” — and to dispose of them in the trash.

“Whether your home or business is connected to the public sewer system or has an onsite wastewater treatment system, you should never flush any type of wipes, including baby wipes and those labeled flushable, down the toilet. Instead, you should place these products in the trash for proper disposal,” the release said.

The DEM stated that clogged systems can “lead to sewer back-ups in basements and damage communities’ aging wastewater treatment equipment. Although some of these products may be labeled as flushable, wipes are designed and manufactured for strength and durability and do not easily break down in sewer lines and pumping stations as toilet paper does.”

For more information about items that should not be flushed, visit the Water Environment Federation website at www.wef.org/resources/for-the-public/ public-information/fact-sheets/ and click on “It’s a Toilet, Not a Trash Can!” in the left-hand menu.