By Kalinowski, Tim on March 20, 2020.
Staying at home in self-isolation can be boring and uncomfortable, but if people persist in flushing stuff into the sewers that shouldn’t be flushed, that home-stay is going to get a whole lot more uncomfortable very quickly, says City of Lethbridge Water and Wastewater operations manager Leanne Lammersten.
“We do anticipate those types of clogging problems are going to escalate in the near future,” she says. “We are strongly encouraging people not to flush wipes or paper towels down the sewer. Typically first people will notice (sewer) water coming into their basements. If they notice that, they need to call 311 immediately. It could be in the street clogging their neighbours as well. We have crews ready to be deployed to react to these sorts of events 24 hours a day.”
With a general shortage of toilet paper in the City due to hoarding, Lammersten says it is likely people will begin to turn to alternative paper products to wipe their derrieres.
“The only thing which should go in the sewer which does not come from your body is toilet paper,” she stresses. “So no feminine products, paper towel, napkins, Kleenex or anything else. If you are using those things (for wiping), they should be disposed sanitarily in the garbage.”
So-called flushable wipes are also a big no-no, says Lammersten.
“Wipes that are marketed as flushable are not flushable in our sewer systems,” she states. “While they might actually go down the toilet, they get stuck in the system and cause lots of problems. In our sewer line there are pumps all along our sewer system. They get caught up in manholes and cause all kinds of grief.”
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