Lewes BPW Urges People to Stop Using "Flushable Wipes" After Pump Station Malfunctioned

Aug 18, 2021

LEWES, Del. - No wipes in the pipes. The Lewes Board of Public Works is urging people to stop flushing items down the toilet that don't belong, like wipes. This stems from a clogged pump that malfunctioned over the weekend near the Savannah Road drawbridge.


Pump station #4 malfunctioned, which resulted in untreated wastewater entering into the canal. The amount of wastewater that leaked is still under investigation, but there is a bypass pump in place, and that backup is going to stay there until the entire station is unclogged. If that backup fails, lift station #4 has two additional bypass pumps as a safety measure.


On Sunday, people in Lewes were asked to conserve water as one of the city's pumps was down. The board of public works says non-flushable items like syringes and wipes including disinfectant wipes clogged the pipes. 


“This is ragging, rags collecting, we use the terms rags loosely because it could be a piece of towel, in many cases its wipes that are used,” said Preston Lee, president of the Lewes BPW.

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