The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is asking the public to not flush ‘flushable’ wipes down the toilet.

Recently, the public’s rapid response to COVID-19 has affected the availability of cleaning supplies and many paper products in Okanagan-Similkameen.

Stocks of hand sanitizing liquids and sprays have been depleted in many retail outlets so consumers have opted to purchase ‘flushable’ antiseptic wipes. RDOS is warning the public to not flush these wipes down the toilet.

Unlike toilet paper, flushable wipes are not to disintegrate into pulp and move easily through the process of sewage or septic treatment. Flushable wipes should be disposed of in your regular curbside garbage.

“In this challenging time when we are spending more time at home as we do our part, we must be conscious that our homes have to function,” said Rina Seppen, foreman of the RDOS’ wastewater utilities. “The last thing we need is to have the sewer lines clog and essential services stretched as we work to serve the public needs. We thank you for your assistance.”

Residents should always avoid disposing of flushable wipes, paper towels, reinforced paper towels, or hygiene related products down the toilet. These products can seriously affect the operations of sewer infrastructure by building up, attracting other solid materials, clogging pipes, and treatment plant equipment. Wastewater operators have to engage in the very unpleasant task of finding and extracting these blockages, given the nickname of ‘fatburgs.’

The intent of this reminder is to avoid any disruption to sewer system operations, damage to infrastructure, downtime for removal of impactions, safety of wastewater workers, and inconvenience to the public.

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Header Image Credit: Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

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