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The original item was published from 9/24/2020 8:55:44 AM to 12/29/2020 1:26:09 PM.

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City of Newton - Public Works

Posted on: September 24, 2020

[ARCHIVED] “Flushable” Wipes Could Lead To Sewer Problems


The City’s Water Pollution Control Facility has seen an increase in wipes labeled “flushable” being flushed into the City’s sewer mains and causing sewer backups at residences. The City of Newton wants residents to be aware that wipes that are sold as “flushable” are in fact not flushable for the City’s sewer pipes and can cause problems with your homes sewer pipes. Flushing of wipes causes cities to spend thousands of dollars on premature equipment repair and replacement and can cost residents thousands of dollars to repair their own home’s sewer pipes.

Wipes snag on any imperfection in sewer pipes, catch passing debris and grease, and create a “ball” that will grow to eventually plug the pipe. The wipes get drawn into sewer-lines and wastewater treatment plant pumps and clog and damage the pumps. Municipalities must manually clear out the pumps or remove the clogs. The City of Newton has released a list of items that do not flush into the City’s sewer mains, both “flushable” and “non-flushable”.

  • Wipes of any kind, flushable and non-flushable
  • Feminine hygiene products, condoms, contraceptives
  • Excessive fats, oil, grease
  • Bandages, wrappings
  • Cigarette butts and coffee grounds
  • Disposable diapers and dryer sheets
  • Ear swabs, cotton balls, dental floss
  • Facial tissue, paper towels, scrubbing pads
  • Hair
  • Medication
  • Pet waste, kitty litter
  • Automotive fluid
  • Paint, solvents, sealants, thinners
  • Poisons, hazardous waste
  • Plastic of any kind
  • Inorganic materials
  • Syringes, needles, sharps

The City of Newton says only material that should be flushed is that which comes from the body and toilet paper. Any questions, concerns you can contact City of Newton’s Water Pollution Control Division at (641) 792-3422.

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