March 20, 2020
Portsmouth, New Hampshire – Portsmouth DPW Water & Sewer Department officials are asking residents to please refrain from flushing anything other than toilet tissue in their toilets. This is true at all times, but especially now as many are wiping down surfaces with disinfectant. Sanitizing wipes, paper towels and baby wipes should never be flushed down the toilet as they do not dissolve the way toilet tissue does and instead cause blockages and backups in your home and the City’s sewer system.
Even wipes that are labeled and sold as “flushable” are not and should be thrown away in a trash bag. These items get snagged in the pipes, cause a blockage and then an overflow. Or they can get caught in a pump and stop the pump. They can block the pipes leading out of the house to street connections and private septic systems, as well as damaging equipment in the treatment plants.
Water and sewer officials across the country are warning that such blockages contribute to what in the industry are known as “fatbergs” – masses of undissolved fats, grease and paper that take extra manpower and sometimes sewer service interruptions, to clean out.
In addition to remembering, “wipes clog pipes,” residents should think, ‘when in doubt, throw it out’ in the trash, not the toilet.