No Wipes in Pipes with WSFC Utilities

We've all heard stories (or experienced) toilet paper shortages during the Covid-19 shut-down. But, can you substitute "flushable wipes," baby wipes, tissue paper or anything else if you can't find toilet paper? Our friends at WSFC Utilities explain why there should be no wipes in your pipes.

A guest blog from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities

Nearly every day our WSFC Utilities Field Operations crews respond to service requests for sewer overflows. What causes raw sewage to back up in your home or office? Sometimes it’s tree roots or other debris, but most often it is grease and wipes. Together they create nasty fatbergs in your pipes that clog your system and cannot be unblocked by hot water or soap. They must be removed by a professional.

Remember to only flush the four Ps: 
Pee, Poop, Puke & (toilet) Paper

So-called flushable wipes along with paper towels, diaper wipes, tampons, sanitary pads, makeup towelettes and even facial tissues (aka: kleenex) can all cause sewage backups if flushed down the toilet. If it doesn’t disintegrate immediately like toilet paper, it can clog your pipes, so always throw these items in the trash.

When a blockage is severe enough to cause a sanitary sewer overflow, that untreated sewage spills out of a manhole and may reach a local stream. Our teams respond immediately to these situations 24/7 and resolve the issue as quickly as possible, often using high-pressure sewer jetting equipment to dislodge the blockage and clean the pipe. Any soil or surface water impacted by an overflow is properly remediated to standards required by the EPA and the NC Department of Environmental Quality to ensure our environment is not polluted.

We would prefer to never have an overflow, so do your part and remember No Wipes in Pipes!

See more at cityofws.org/nowipes

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