‘Toilets are not trash cans’: EPA warns public to stop flushing disinfectant wipes


NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to remind Americans to flush toilet paper, not disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should go in the trash. People are using far more disinfecting wipes during the coronavirus outbreak, however, disposing of them improperly can cause issues with plumbing, sewers and septic systems.

Flushing only toilet paper ensures that toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage the nation’s wastewater. While the EPA encourages disinfecting your environment to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, never flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items.

The EPA says these easy steps will keep surfaces disinfected and wastewater management systems working for all Americans. Preventable toilet and sewer backups threaten health and also present an extra challenge to water utilities and their workforce. Also, fixing these backups is costly and takes time and resources away from ensuring wastewater management systems are working properly.

The EPA says having fully operation wastewater services is critical to containing COVID-19 and protecting people from other public health risks.

This isn’t the first time the EPA has issued a warning to the public during the coronavirus outbreak. The EPA’s Office of Water has posted a number of times on social media warning and cautioning the public of what can happen when you flush the wrong thing. For example, in a tweet on March 24, they post “toilets are not trash cans.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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