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Sewer district reminder: Don’t flush wipes down the toilet

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 3/18/2020 By Laura Johnston,
a group of people in a room: The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has earned thousands of fans for its humorous Twitter account. © Photo by Lisa DeJong, The Plain Dealer/ The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has earned thousands of fans for its humorous Twitter account.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- You may have forgotten, with that run on toilet paper during the coronavirus pandemic, but wipes clog pipes.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is reminding customers and others throughout Northeast Ohio that although the packaging might say “flushable,” wipes should never be flushed down the toilet.

The organization, which handles waste and stormwater for more than 1 million people in much of Northeast Ohio, has been putting out the word on its cheeky Twitter account.

Only flush the three P’s: poop, pee and paper.

“Flushable wipes are not truly flushable,” said Jim Bunsey, the sewer district’s chief operating officer. “They might go down the drain, but they do not break up like regular toilet paper.”

If you use paper towels, facial tissue or wipes, throw them into your trash cans. They’ll end up in the trash heap even if they end up at one of the sewer district’s three wastewater treatment plants. Before they get there they can clog local sewer systems and harm your home’s plumbing.

In England, the United Kingdom’s largest water and wastewater service warned customers not to glob on to so-called fatbergs – formed from a build-up of fat and non-biodegradable matter – by flushing kitchen towel and wet wipes as toilet paper substitutes, the Guardian reports.

The sewer district is in the midst of a $3 billion, 25-year plan to reduce raw sewage discharges into Lake Erie.


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