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Help keep Olathe's sewer system running

Post Date:03/21/2020 4:59 PM

With concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus and toilet paper shortages across the United States, there appears to be an increased use of disinfecting “flushable” wipes being disposed of in toilets. Despite being labeled as "flushable," these types of products wreak havoc on waste systems, causing costly sewage back-ups.

When the wrong materials (paper towels, wipes, grease, etc.) are put into the sewer system, the flow of water is blocked, resulting in sewer water backing up through the drains into our homes.

Because these materials don’t break down the way toilet paper does, they clog sewer pipes by snagging on the inside of the pipes, catch passing debris and grease, and in turn creates a blockage that plugs the pipes. This material also gets into sewer lines and wastewater treatment plant pumps, creating more clogs and damage.

All of us can do our part to prevent sewer backups using the following tips: :

  • Follow the "3Ps"—only Pee, Poo and toilet Paper should be flushed.
  • Dispose of all wipes and personal hygiene products, even those labeled “flushable,” in the trash.

Recently, staff spent hours tearing out wipes and other non-flushable items to get the bar screen on the compactor at City’s wastewater facility back up and running. These photos are just some of what had to be removed from the clogged pipes:

flushable wipes clogged pipe

flushable wipes clogged pipe 

Thank you for doing your part to help keep Olathe's sewer system running!

Learn more information about how the COVID-19 coronavirus is impacting Olathe.

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