Camden County: Flushing disposable wipes, paper towels puts sewer system at risk

Flushing disposable wipes, paper towels puts sewer system at risk

(Camden, NJ) – The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) is asking for the public’s assistance to keep systems operating during the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks, an increased number of non-flushable disinfectant wipes, as well as other items, have created clogs, blockages, and other damage to critical infrastructure.

The CCMUA is reminding Camden County residents which items are safe to flush and which are not.

Safe to flush items include:

  • Toilet paper

Items that should not be flushed include:

  • Napkins
  • Latex gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Wipes of any kind (cleaning wipes, baby wipes, “flushable” wipes”, etc…)

“We understand that in response to the current crisis involving coronavirus, many of our residents stocked up on disinfectant wipes and other disposables, however we are asking everyone to be especially mindful of how to properly get rid of these items at this time,” said Freeholder Jeff Nash, liaison to the CCMUA. “Toilet paper is the only product safe to flush without risking a malfunction or other interruption to critical services. Please dispose of all other products properly to allow CCMUA and its dedicated personnel to continue protecting the health of our community during this crisis.”

Just because something can physically be flushed down the toilet, does not mean that it should be. Solids, like wipes and paper towels, can create blockages that back sewage up into the streets, your house, or other streets and homes in the county as it travels to the treatment plant. Items with harmful chemicals may disrupt the treatment process or pass through to the Delaware River.

For more information on what should and should not be flushed, as well as more information about the consequences of improperly flushing certain items, visit the CCMUA’s “Toilets are not Trashcans” guide here.

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