Benton Utilities is having a big issue with repairs and the reason is that pipes are made for three things, and wipes isn’t one of them.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached the Saline County area. Residents are encouraged to disinfect their homes in order to help stem the tide of infections spreading. One of the methods listed as effective in helping kill the virus is the use of disinfecting wipes.
While these wipes are proven to be an easy method for prevention, flushing them into the waste water conveyance system can present an increased probability of harm and clogs to the very system we all depend upon.
Nathan Schultz, Manager of the Waste Water Conveyance Department, says “Grease and wipes are the biggest reason for sewer blockage. Wipes making it into our lift station pumps can cause them to clog and burn up. This past weekend, we had to pull some pumps and actually repair the discharge because it was packed full of wipes.”
David Vondran, General Manager of Benton Utilities, is asking for Benton Utilities customers to refrain from flushing disinfecting wipes, paper towels and other tissues used for cleaning. “The most effective method for disposal of these types of products is to put them into the garbage. Our employees work hard each and every day to make sure that electricity, water and waste water processes are the least of our customer’s concerns. We appreciate their patronage. We understand that these are uncertain times for everyone.”
According to Shultz, the system is designed for only three things – used water, human waste, and toilet paper. Other items can cause harm to the pipes and the system as a whole.
Here’s a list of DOS and DON’TS for how to prevent problems before they occur.
- DO: Collect grease in a container and dispose of it in the trash.
- DO: Place food scraps in the garbage for disposal with solid waste.
- DO: Place waste basket in the bathroom to dispose of solid waste. (Disposable diaper, personal hygiene products and ANY KIND OF WIPES, no matter if the label says flushable, do not belong in the sewer system)
- DO: Use a backflow prevention devise (BPD) as needed.
- DON’T: Pour grease, fats, and oils from cooking down the drain.
- DON’T: Use the sewer to dispose of food scraps.
- DON’T: Use the toilet as a wastebasket for garbage and chemicals.
- DON’T: Plant trees with shallow, spreading root system near your sewer lateral. Tree roots seek water sources, such as cracked sewer lines. Once the roots have penetrated the line through cracks, the roots can create a dense mat and trap material.
Additional information regarding preventable causes of waste water backups can be found at the Benton Utilities website: www.bentonutilities.com/wastewater