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Concerns on wipes no laughing matter

September 25, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

It might be easy to say Steubenville has far more pressing problems than what residents do with their used baby wipes, but the clogged sewers the wipes cause, time spent clearing them and the cost of the work is an issue across the nation.

There is even an engineering organization working to have the baby wipes manufacturers place a "no-flush" logo on the packaging.

The issue is that even the supposedly flushable wipes don't break up quickly in the water in the sewers. They can become lodged in sewers and as more non-biodegradable items join them, a clog can form. The wipes can literally form ropes that fill the sewer lines for tens of feet or clog city equipment in the treatment plant.

So, when Steubenville's wastewater department announced a "flush at your own risk" campaign regarding baby wipes and other non-biodegradable items clogging city sewers, they were taking a prudent move.

Most people in the city never lived with a septic tank, but those who have know that there is a level of common sense caution that has to be used when putting stuff into the toilet to flush. Mostly, beyond bodily functions and toilet paper, it's best to dispose of items somewhere other than the toilet.

The city is simply warning residents. If the lateral line leading from the city's main to the homeowner or business toilet clogs, it's the responsibility of the homeowner or business. And the city's costs go up if mains block, and we know who ends up having to pay for that if work continually has to be done to repair mains, or replace equipment.

So, don't laugh. Think about what you're flushing and save yourself and maybe the city sewer system - and your sewer bill.

 
 

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