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Posted on: June 16, 2021

Think Before You Flush

210902 Flushable wipes clog cropped

Dear Fremont Utility Customer, 

Before we go any further we must ask you to excuse our potty mouth… though, not in the way in which you’re typically used to.  We’re talking literally here. Today, we’re going to be discussing the growing issue of so called “flushable wipes” and the havoc that they can cause to our City sewer system and to your sewer line.

Growing in popularity over the last few years, “flushable wipes”, as they’ve been marketed, are pre-moistened wet wipes that can help your bum feel fresh after your time spent on the porcelain throne. Although this toilet paper alternative may seem like the ideal choice, flushing them does not come without consequences.  Since these “flushable wipes” are traditionally made out of harmful materials such as plastic, polyester, cloth etc., they’re not as easily broken down in our sewer system and can cause a great deal of problems such as clogged pipes and sewer backups; putting unnecessary stress on sewer infrastructure.

Keith Kontor, Fremont Water and Wastewater Superintendent, estimates that nearly 30% of sewer blockages in our sewer system are due to improper disposal of wipes, including flushable wipes.  All of which must be cleaned out and broken down manually by City employees. As you can imagine, this can be a costly endeavor and can cost ratepayers thousands of dollars in premature equipment repair and replacement as well as labor costs. As the popularity of these so called “flushable wipes” increases so does the amount of City resources that are needed to address this issue.

How you can help:

  • Only flush the “3 P’s” (Pee, Poo and toilet Paper)
  • If you do elect to utilize “flushable wipes” – put them in the trash.

Here is an example of what a “flushable wipe” clog looks like in our sewer system.  Notice how the wipes are not broken down? Wipes do not belong in the sewer, they belong in the trash.

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