Melfort asks public to stop flushing "flushable" wipes

MELFORT—The City of Melfort has sent out a press release, asking residents not to flush cleaning wipes down toilets, even if the package says that they’re flushable.

In addition to wipes, the city is also asking residents to avoid flushing Kleenex, paper towels, tampons and pads. All these items should be disposed of in the garbage.

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Gerald Gilmore, Melfort's director of works and utilities said this is an ongoing problem for the city, but it is also a timely one with an increased purchase of wipes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some of the white packages even say you can put them down the sewer, but they don’t decompose like toilet paper, they don’t dissolve,” Gilmore said. “And that’s an issue with all of our sewer lift station pumps.”

When the wipes get into sewer lift station pumps it causes it to fail. If this happens, there is a risk that a sewer backup in the lines may occur, and that sewage can enter people’s homes.

“Whatever you put down the sewer could compromise our lift station; hence cause a backup in your neighbourhood.”

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