City and village wastewater systems are seeing an increase in clogs with the COVID-19 pandemic because people are flushing items like paper towels and sanitizing wipes down toilets, according to The Nebraska League Association of Risk Management.
These items are not meant to be flushed and don't break down in pipes or sewer systems. Flushing them can cause toilets to back up in homes or create blockages in underground pipes which could overflow onto the street level.
It can also lead to high plumbing bills for residents and increased maintenance costs for municipalities.
"If it’s not human excrement or toilet paper don’t flush it," LARM says. "Even when those items make it through the drainage pipes in a person’s home, they can wreak havoc with the filtering and cleaning system at the community’s wastewater treatment plant."
Specifically, remember not to flush:
• Wipes (baby wipes or disinfectant wipes)
• Paper towels
• Feminine pads
• Moist towelettes