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City crews spend 50 hours of overtime clearing wipes from wastewater pumps

April 21, 2020
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The city of Palm Coast wants to remind residents not to flush cleaning wipes, baby wipes or any other flushable wipe down the toilet. 

The city first issued a reminder on this at the end of March when nearly 150 pumps had been clogged from wipes, rags and towels. However, the weekend of April 11-12, utility crews incurred about 50 hours of overtime servicing wastewater pumps that were clogged with wipes that have been flushed. 

Utility systems are not designed to handle that material. If you must use wipes, put them in the trash, not the toilet.

The only paper designed to disintegrate quickly in water is toilet paper. Any other products including paper towels, tissue paper and especially wipes (including “flushable” wipes) don’t.

As such, these products get hung up in pump impellers and check valves, thus restricting flow. When capacity is reduced, the only fix is for technicians to go to the pump station, remove the pump from service and manually remove the material.

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