Flagstaff officials warn residents not to flush wipes in toilets

Apr 23, 2020

The effects of the coronavirus haven’t only been seen in Flagstaff’s empty downtown streets, but also in the pipes that run underneath them.

The city’s use of potable water has fallen since the crisis began, as has the amount of waste entering the city’s two waste water treatment plants, said city wastewater treatment manager Jim Huchel.

Flagstaff's Wildcat Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant alone has seen about 700,000 fewer gallons come into that facility since the crisis began.

“It’s been an interesting change. I’ve been doing this for 37 years, I’ve never seen anything close to this,” Huchel said.


Flagstaff has always seen more variation in the amount of waste coming into the plants depending on the time of year, Huchel said, in large part because of the significant population of university students.

“We always see a change when students leave town. So Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring break, those kinds of things. And then for the summer break,” Huchel said.

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