Buildup of non-flushable wipes and PPE in wastewater at an all time high

May 29, 2020

SEATTLE – The King County Wastewater Treatment Division says the buildup of masks, gloves, and non-flushable wipes in the wastewater system is at an all time high.

Marie Fiore, a spokesperson at the King County Wastewater Treatment Division, says since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early March, they have seen a huge buildup of masks, gloves, and non-flushable wipes in the county’s wastewater system.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, toilet paper was in short supply. Fiore says they were worried this shortage would lead to people using alternatives to toilet paper such as non-flushable wipes, which clog up pipes and pumps in the sewer system.

During the pandemic, many people have turned to convenient cleaning supplies like paper towels and disinfecting wipes. These items are also non-flushable but often end up in the sewer system.

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