Don't flush the "flushables" 2013.01.23

Written by David Green.

Manufacturers of various cleaning products label their items as "flushable." Fayette's sewage treatment personnel urge residents not to believe that claim.

As the number of “flushable” cleaning products continues to grow—ranging from bathroom wipes to baby wipes to moist wipes for adults—utility engineers across the nation are suggesting that toilet paper is the only product that should go down the toilet.

Disposable isn’t flushable, and the push for flushable products—and the resulting problems—has led to new disposal laws in some communities.

Lift stations and treatment systems have had to be cleaned of flushable products in many communities, but it's not only a potential problem for municipal systems. Wipes can catch on tree roots that have entered sewage lines and force raw sewage to back up into basements. If the blockage occurs between a house and the street, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to have the line cleaned.

The following guidelines relating to flushing items down the drain were offered by former Fayette utilities engineer Bob Seigneur:

• Toilet paper is 100 percent biodegradable and should be the only commercial product flushed down the toilet.

• Most wipes labeled “flushable” can plug a sewer line as quickly as standard wipes.

• Disposable products are made to be thrown into the trash, not flushed down the toilet.

• Teeth whitening strips, dental floss and towelettes for cleaning, polishing and dusting can also clog sewer lines.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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