City asking customers to not flush disinfecting wipes, ‘flushable’ wipes, napkins or paper towels

Published 8:35 am Monday, March 23, 2020

City of Elizabethton Water Resources are asking that you please do not flush disinfecting wipes, “flushable” wipes, napkins or paper towels down the toilet. Put them in the garbage instead.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are aware of the increased use of “flushable” wipes and flushing of non-flushable materials such as baby wipes, disinfecting wipes, napkins and paper towels. The wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and therefore clog in-home and public sewer lines very easily.

Any material that you flush, other than toilet paper, clumps together and then easily blocks sewer lines and clogs up pumping systems. This makes the sewer lines and pump stations overflow, potentially causing raw, untreated sewage to spill on the ground and creating a public health hazard. In many cases our staff must clear this material by hand. Please help us by not overloading our sewer system. We have nearly 100 miles of public sewer to take care of and numerous pump stations. Right now, hundreds of thousands of these wipes are being flushed. We thank you for your concern and we will do our best to keep the sewer system working during this difficult time.

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As a reminder, the following products are NOT flushable, and should be disposed of in the trash:

* Disinfecting wipes

* Wet wipes/baby wipes (even those labeled as “flushable” wipes)

* Paper towels

* Napkins

* Kleenex and other tissues

* Diapers

* Feminine hygiene products

Thank you for helping us solve this problem. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at 423-547-6233 or 423-547-6300.