Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Americans Coping With the Coronavirus Are Clogging Toilets -This Old Toilet 650-483-1139
Wastewater treatment officials across the county have beseeched residents not to flush wipes down the toilet using the hashtag #WipesClogPipes.Credit...Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times
Many Americans seem to be following the recommendations of public health officials to clean and sterilize countertops, doorknobs, faucets and other frequently touched surfaces in their homes.
The problem? Many are then tossing the disinfectant wipes, paper towels and other paper products they used into the toilet.
The result has been a coast-to-coast surge in backed-up sewer lines and overflowing toilets, according to plumbers and public officials, who have pleaded with Americans to spare the nation’s pipes from further strain.
“Flushable wipes are not truly flushable,” said Jim Bunsey, chief operating officer of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. “They might go down the drain, but they do not break up like regular toilet paper.”
The plumbing repair company Roto-Rooter issued a similar plea to its customers, and said that substituting facial tissue for toilet paper was “another bad idea,” unless it’s used in small amounts and flushed frequently.
The California State Water Resources Control Board warned this week that “even wipes labeled ‘flushable’ will clog pipes and interfere with sewage collection and treatment throughout the state.”
“Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” it said.