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City telling people to stop flushing wet-wipes

The city has a simple message for people living in Powell River.

Stop flushing “wet-wipes” down the toilet. That includes the ones that say “flushable” on the package.

Infrastructure Services Director Tor Birtig says the city has already had to pull three sewage system pumps for cleaning since the COVID-19 emergency started escalating. That’s because wet-wipes clog the system.

“We absolutely want people to follow preventative sanitation during this crisis,” said Birtig. “But wet-wipes are not to be flushed down the toilet and into our system. Please, put them in the garbage.”

Toilet paper disintegrates into pulp when flushed, making it easy for it to move through the sewage system or septic treatment. Wipes, even the “flushable” ones, do not break down. You also shouldn’t flush paper towels, hygiene products, or any other paper down the toilet.

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When those things get flushed they build up, attract other solids and then plug things up. The city is then forced to find and remove the blockages before they damage the sewage system.

“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 Birtig. “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.”

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