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People flushing more personal wipes down the toilet during pandemic and clogging sewers

Courtesy Macomb County Public Works

Apparently, people are using a lot more personal wipes and baby wipes during the pandemic. Then, they’re flushing them down the toilet. Officials in Macomb and Oakland counties say those so-called “flushable” wipes are wreaking havoc on sewer pipes and pump stations.

“A couple of years ago, we had about 70 tons of these things, but just recently we completed a cleanup that was 270 tons. So just a huge increase,” said Candice Miller, the Public Works Commissioner of Macomb County.

She says the wipes are not biodegradable and they’re jamming things up at some pump stations.

“In a pandemic, the worst thing that could happen is they have a sewer backup, which could happen if these things continue like this,” she added.

Miller is asking people to throw the wipes into the trash instead of flushing them.


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Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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