Eldridge-Dykema bill seeks to flush away those clogged-up pipes

Mar 24, 2021

The toilet paper shortage that accompanied the start of the pandemic last year may have prompted smirks on social media and newscasts, but it was no laughing matter for the wastewater departments throughout the country that had to deal with pipes clogged with sanitary wipes.

“About this time last year, we were going out multiple times a week to several of our stations,” said Hopkinton DPW Water and Sewer Manager Eric Carty. “We still see (clogs), but not nearly as (much)… back when the epidemic first started.”


A big contributor to the uptick was a shortage of toilet paper that left many having to make do with whatever they could, with some turning to facial or baby wipes as a last resort.

But those makeshift solutions exacerbated what for sewer operators was already a costly, reoccurring problem. 

For Natick, wipes claiming to be flushable have been a constant source of trouble for the Water and Sewer Division, according to the town's regulatory compliance coordinator, Casey Ciapciak.

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