Utilities manager: Not everything “flushable” should be flushed

Updated: Mar. 25, 2020 at 10:21 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - If there’s one thing we all know that’s flying off the store shelves right now it’s toilet paper and now people are getting creative with their alternatives.

“Well, in recent weeks, we’ve seen it about all come through our system. Everything that shouldn’t be coming through is coming through at the moment. I don’t know what to say without getting graphic *laughs* socks, pajamas, t-shirts," Kevin Heise, the Lake Charles City Utilities Manager, said while laughing. “I think it’s a result of the coronavirus and the scare on toilet paper. So, it’s creating issues in the system.”

Whether it’s flushable wipes, disinfectant wipes or baby wipes, Heise said you must throw these items away.

“Even though some of the products say they’re flushable they are not. We really would only prefer toilet paper go down the sewer systems," Heise said.

He said they simply don’t break down the way toilet paper does.

“When these biodegradable items come down the sewer line they get caught on the edges of the pipe, they get caught in the pipe and they begin collecting fats oils and grease, from cooking, what normally comes from your kitchen or what comes out of a restaurant, it creates a very nasty mass in the pipe that backs the sewer water up in the pipe,” Heise said.

Heise said these back ups can cause problems down the road.

“We sometimes have to come dig these out. Open up the ground and replace pipe because the pipe may burst or break," Heise said.

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