ELYRIA — The city is asking residents to keep nonbiodegradable waste out of its sewers after multiple breakdowns in the system due to people flushing “flushable” wipes down the toilet.
The wipes are causing problems: They do not degrade in the system like human waste or regular toilet paper and can cause potentially costly and hazardous sewer overflows and backups.
Basically, they’re not as flushable as their manufacturers’ claims.
Wastewater Pollution Control Plant Superintendent Terry Korzan told City Council this week that clearing “flushable” or “septic safe” baby or personal wipes from residents’ pipes and downstream at the city’s wastewater plant costs time and money.
So-called “flushable” wipes “belong in the trash can,” Korzan told City Council.
Residents can save an at least $200 fix on their plumbing systems by not flushing the wipes, he said. And homeowners alone are responsible for the costs associated with maintaining their own sewer pipes, according to a handout provided to the public at the meeting.
“The city is currently spending a lot of time and money unplugging sewage pump station pumps and replacing components in these stations due to plugging of the pumps with wipes,” according to the handout. “Even if if the product says ‘flushable,’ it’s not.”
Other items that should be thrown in the trash and not flushed include diapers, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, cotton swabs, syringes, food wrappers, cloth of any kind, cleaning sponges, plastic, aquarium gravel or cat litter and latex products.
The full list of nonflushable items can be found at www.cityofelyria.org/department/wastewater.
For questions or more information, call the city’s Wastewater Pollution Control Plant at (440) 366-2211, ext. 0.