‘Flushable’ wipes clogging Lathrop wastewater system

May 21, 2020

It’s been more than two months since stay at home orders went into effect, and the City of Lathrop is still fighting the battle with “flushable” wipes.

Even though more people have gone back to work as restrictions have been relaxed and an opening of even a larger section of businesses is imminent, the city has been dealing with an abundance of wipes – even those that are listed as “flushable” on the packaging – clogging up sewer mains and grinding things to a halt at the city’s newest treatment facility.

Because the wipes do not disintegrate in water the same way that toilet paper does, it has required additional manpower and the use of machinery to clear the blockages which Lathrop City Manager Steve Salvatore is worried will inevitably lead to an increase in rate for consumers.

“Toilet wipes are not biodegradable and continue to be problematic in both the sewer collection system and our new treatment facility,” Salvatore said. “We’re dealing with system shutdowns and labor and auxiliary equipment required to clear blockages adds substantial operational costs, ultimately driving up user rates.

“Please help us control rates and don’t flush those wipes.”

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