Keeping sewer systems healthy as we wipe away germs

March 18, 2020

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a notable increase in the purchase and use of disposable disinfecting wipes. As residents use these items, they are reminded that these products need to be disposed of properly after use, putting them in the garbage and not flushing them down the toilet.

“We share residents’ concerns about the current situation and recognize that everyone is taking extra precautions to ensure that hands and surfaces are clean and disinfected,” said Ed Hoppe, Water Quality and Customer Care Supervisor. “While this is an important step in helping to reduce the spread of the virus, it is also extremely important to remember that any type of disposable wipe, including baby wipes and wipes that are labelled as flushable, must go into the garbage and not be flushed into the sewer system.”

Wipes and other items that should not be flushed down the toilet (such as dental floss, paper towels and feminine hygiene products) can wreak havoc on residential pipes and the overall system. They contribute to troublesome clogs because they do not break down the same way that toilet paper does. A clog can cause a residential system back-up resulting in localized flooding and property damage. More significant clogs at the Wastewater Treatment Facility can damage infrastructure resulting in costly repairs and potential interruptions in essential service.

For additional tips on what you can do to keep our wastewater system operating at optimum health, please visit kelowna.ca/sourcecontrol.