An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Don’t flush disinfectant wipes!

Wipes can cause clogs in wastewater pipes and pumps

Disposable disinfectant wipes are being bought and used to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

Hillsborough County Public Utilities Department supports the use of disposable disinfectant wipes, but reminds residents not to flush wipes.

Wipes need to be thrown out in the garbage after they are used. The package might say they are "flushable," but that is not accurate.

If large number of wipes gets into the wastewater pipes, it can create problems for everybody.

The wipes can clog pipes, and it can cause the pumping stations to fail. If the pipes or pumping stations are blocked, the wastewater can overflow, causing disruption at homes, businesses, and potentially impacting the environment.

It can also be a problem at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. While the Wastewater Treatment Plant has equipment to remove the wipes, an excessive number of wipes in the system can damage the equipment, making it difficult to get routine work done.

Along with wipes, many people will use paper towels to clean and disinfect countertops, tables, and desks at homes and offices. Like wipes, paper towels can't be flushed because they can clog pipes and pumps. They need to be discarded in the trash.

Other items not to flush:

  • Paper towels
  • Dental floss
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cotton swabs
  • Hair
  • Bandages
  • Medications
  • Cat litter

The rule of thumb: If isn't toilet paper, it shouldn't be flushed.

For more information, visit Don't Flush It.

Good advice no matter where you live!