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Coronavirus: Don’t flush disposable wipes down toilet, urges City of Kelowna

Coronavirus outbreak: Don’t toss disposable wipes into toilets
The City of Kelowna says disposable wipes flushed down the toilet can wreak havoc on residential pipes and sewer systems.

With a run on toilet paper during the current COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a notable increase in the purchase and use of disposable wipes.

As residents use these items, city officials are urging that these products need to be properly disposed, and not simply tossed into a toilet.

Disposable wipes flushed down the toilet can wreak havoc on residential pipes and sewer systems.

READ MORE: Californians using — and flushing — T-shirts instead of toilet paper, causing sewage backup amid coronavirus spread

A clog can cause a residential system backup, resulting in flooding and property damage.

As well, significant clogs at a wastewater treatment facility can damage infrastructure, resulting in costly repairs and potential interruptions in essential service.

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Further, some wipes also have disinfectants that may cause problems with the way that wastewater is treated.

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“Well, the wipes themselves have a tendency to clump together and clog up our pumps in our collection system,” said Ed Hoppe, with the City of Kelowna.

“But also the disinfectants in the wipes themselves basically cause a bit of an issue in our biological treatment process, where it can destroy the bad bugs as well as the good ones at the same time.”

The city is urging residents to toss any type of disposable wipes into the garbage — even those that are labelled flushable.