Toilets are not garbage cans

Dec 21, 2018

Safe to flush – it’s a badge of honor for many producers of disposable items.

“They lie,” Clay Evers says.

Unfortunately, items small enough to disappear in the swirling cascade of a toilet bowl often return, very much the worse for wear, in a cursed second life in the sewers.

Please, Kilgore’s public works director pleads, think before pushing that lever down.

“Toilets are not garbage cans. Your trash can is for trash,” he says. “I’ve been guilty of it, too. Even something you think is benign like your contact lenses may not be problematic from a water quality standpoint, but the problem for sewer collection systems is things that don’t degrade.”

Paper, wet wipes, stringy rags: sure, they’ll flush, but they might not get too far. They could meet some grease and bacon fat along the way. Throw in some roots (Kilgore’s aging pipes are notorious for root incursions) and the lot could end up hanging out below-ground, waiting to gum up the works with a vengeance.

“Our pumps clog because there are stringy wet wipes and feminine hygiene products in there,” Evers lamented. “That’s not flushable. Our systems are not designed to handle those, nor will they ever be.

Meanwhile, “Fats and greases, we have a problem with them.”

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