Sewers are being clogged as residents clean up their spaces with disinfectant product wipes, and also beginning to use napkins, paper towels, and baby wipes to deal with the toilet paper shortage.
Americans are doing a great job following public health officials’ recommendations to sterilize and clean doorknobs, countertops and faucets in their homes.
This is generally a good thing, but the downside is that people are then flushing those wipes down their toilets.
The result is a massive surge of clogged sewer pipes and toilets. Plumbing and state officials are asking residents to stop clogging their toilets and the plumbing pipes with these products.
These problems plaguing plumbing infrastructure are being increased by the toilet paper shortages around the nation, leading them to use other cleaning items in their place.
The California State Water Resources Control Board issued a warning this week stating that even the wipes that are supposedly flushable may cause issues necessitating immediate sewer repair due to clogged pipes.
The majority of urban sewage systems rely on water flow and gravity to move waste and paper along; they’re not designed for baby wipes, paper towels, etc., which are not designed to break down like toilet paper.
The California State Water Resources Control Board also noted that the clogged lines aren’t just a big problem for residents sheltered in place in their homes, but that the waste and these products also spill out into rivers, lakes, and ocean. They can further damage public health and also the environment, from there.
Plumbing professionals are reporting an increase in calls, as more people are working from home during the pandemic.