‘Now Is the Time to Beg’: City Officials Plead with Residents to Stop Flushing Toilet Paper Alternatives

Apr 1, 2020

Redding, California has a problem. The mid-size city located at the northern point of the Sacramento Valley recently issued a plea to residents: Please stop flushing shredded t-shirts down the toilet.

In response to the panic-buying of toilet paper associated with the coronavirus pandemic, residents of Redding have been getting creative after being confronted with empty shelves at local stores. The city has seen a rush of wipes, paper towels and, yes, shredded t-shirts, introduced into the sewer system, causing blockages, backups, and major headaches for the wastewater department. Joshua Vandiver, Redding’s wastewater utility manager, said that the problem isn’t isolated to the 433 miles of pipe he manages—it’s a nationwide concern among sewer professionals. 

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