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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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