'Flushable' wipes clogging sewer pipes in Fredericksburg area

Apr 6, 2020

Cleaning surfaces to ward off the COVID-19 virus is having an unintended consequence.

Those “flushable” disinfecting wipes, along with baby wipes and other items that people are sending down toilets, are clogging sewer lines.

Just ask Diane Beyer, Fredericksburg’s new public works director.


Her crew pulled a 5-gallon bucketful of wipes out of a clog in a city sewer pipe along Fall Hill Avenue on Friday. And that was from just the latest of six clogs they’ve had to deal with in the last two weeks.

“We have these clogs every now and then, but not to the degree we are seeing now, and not with the number of wipes we are seeing now,” she said in an email. “Last week, one of the blockages was due to grease AND wipes.”

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