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Help Keep Wipes Out of Pipes

Image of wipes with NO WIPES text.

The Service Authority is asking its customers to avoid flushing disposable wipes down toilets and drains.

Last week, the Service Authority had to shut down two pump stations at the H.L. Mooney Advanced Water Reclamation Facility temporarily to remove a large volume of wipes and rags. The issue of insoluble wipes has become more of a problem in recent months, according to Service Authority Regulatory Affairs Officer John DeRosa. 

Because the pump stations were taken out of service, the plant could not receive septage for a short amount of time. The Service Authority also had to clean out one of its 100,000-gallon ash basins at the plant because it was so filled with wipes. The ash basins are used occasionally as holding tanks for wastewater containing a large amount of grease. When items like wipes come into contact with fats, oil and grease in sewer lines, they can congeal and form “fatbergs” that can block sewer lines and lead to sanitary sewer overflows.

Wipes, dryer sheets, dental floss, feminine products, condoms, facial tissues, diapers and paper towels can all cause backups and overflows, said DeRosa.

“The only thing that should go into your toilet is pee, poop and toilet paper,” DeRosa said.