With the recent "run" on toilet paper, people have been resourceful regarding personal hygiene. The City Utilities Department reminds residents that options other than toilet paper should not be flushed down toilets. Utilities staff have observed more paper products in the waste stream and have increased efforts to clean lines. That alone, however, will not prevent backups and overflows.
Paper towels, napkins and "flushable" wipes do not degrade in water like toilet paper. These types of materials contribute to potential sewer backups into homes, streets and potentially local waterways. The most likely place for a backup will be in a resident’s home, but build-up of paper can also cause problems within sewer mains and at the water reclamation facility. Backups and treatment costs related to flushed paper products, as well as grease and other items washed down drains, can be both unpleasant and costly to a resident and the community.
With increased emphasis on hand washing, residents are also asked to be aware of water use. Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for hand washing is essential and can be done without wasting water. After wetting your hands, turn off the tap while you apply soap, lather and scrub for 20 seconds. Turn the tap back on to rinse. Taking these steps can save a significant amount of water and contributes to responsible management of water resources.