Non-flushables create $2.5M problem for Franklin wastewater
Lumps of “flushable” wipes, plastic applicators and disposable masks float by as wastewater flows into the Franklin Department of Public Works.
Until a new $2.5 million screening building goes up, those items will continue to flow into the plant and clog pumps that are designed to treat wastewater before it flows into Youngs Creek.
The items — none of which should be flushed — have been present in Franklin’s wastewater for years, but the coronavirus pandemic made the problem more severe, said Sally Brown, the city’s wastewater superintendent.
With more people staying home and flushing more products down the toilet, the non-biodegradable waste has increased, clogging up sewer lines and pumps in the plant, and causing maintenance costs to far exceed the budget this year, Brown said.