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A Message from the Sewage Enforcement Officer



Toilet Paper Shortage



With the area’s stores out of toilet paper, desperate residents may turn to other products as alternatives. Unfortunately, unlike toilet paper, the alternatives are not sewage disposal system friendly and may create expensive problems for the homeowner.


Facial Tissue – (Paper Handkerchiefs)


While similar to toilet paper, their texture and weave reduce their ability to degrade in the septic tank. Your septic tank may need to be pumped sooner than usual if you use facial tissue for an extended period of time.


Paper Napkins


Paper napkins degrade very slowly in a septic tank and may necessitate pumping the septic tank sooner than usual. Their larger size and larger amount used may also result in the clogging of household plumbing. If they must be used, consider only flushing one at a time.


Paper Towels


Paper towels were not designed to be flushed down the toilet. They do not degrade well in a septic tank. They can easily clog the plumbing. If you must use paper towels, pre-cut them into the smallest usable size (3”x3”). Try to use one towel piece at a time and do not wad them up. Pump your septic tank sooner than usual if paper towels are used for an extended period of time.


Flushable Wipes


Despite the product being labeled “flushable”, you should not flush these products into an on-lot sewage system. The term “flushable” when used in the industry only means that the product should be able to flow through the house’s plumbing without clogging the pipes. Once out of the house, they become a problem in both central sewage and on-lot sewage systems. They will not degrade and will clog baffles and pumps. Flushable wipes should be disposed of in the garbage.


Baby Wipes


Are not designed to be flushed. They can clog pipes, baffles, and pumps. Dispose of baby wipes in the garbage.


Kitchen Wipes


Are not designed to be flushed. They can clog pipes and they decompose slowly, if at all. Many are reinforced with webbing that can easily bind and destroy a sewage pump.


REMEMBER– Protect your sewage system. The inability to buy toilet paper is a problem that can result in a much larger problem of sewage system failure if you don’t remove the non-toilet paper in a timely manner. Tank size, time passed since last pumping, the nature and amount of toilet paper substitute used will all determine how soon the tank must be pumped. However, pumping too soon is better than too late!