The following was written by Tom Shevlin, Communicaitons Officer for the City of Newport.

The Department of Utilities  is urging all  residents in Newport to refrain from flushing disinfectant wipes – including those labeled “flushable” – and instead, to dispose of them in the trash.

Today we experienced two (2) sewer pump stations getting clogged as a result of wipes being flushed down the toilet. Staff from the  Department of Utilities and SUEZ, the operator of the City’s Wastewater Treatment and pumping facilities,  responded and  cleared clogged pipes at pump stations to avert sewage overflows.

Whether your home or business is connected to the Newport sewer system or has an onsite wastewater treatment system, you should never flush any type of wipes, including baby wipes and those labeled flushable, down the toilet. Instead, you should place these products in the trash for proper disposal.

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In addition to causing clogs and wastewater collection system overflows, flushing wipes can also lead to sewer back-ups in basements and damage wastewater treatment equipment. Although some of these products may be labeled as flushable, most wipes do not break down in sewer lines and pumping stations as toilet paper does.

As we are seeing in Newport they can clog our sewer systems and cause pump station problems. During a time when we’re washing our hands and wiping down surfaces more frequently, our wastewater treatment facilities are being affected by the disposal of wipes into sewage systems. We can all do our part and help avoid sewer overflows by disposing of these wipes in the trash rather than flushing them away.