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Officials: Non-flushables can damage infrastructure, hike utility bills

Feb 17, 2023

ALPENA — What people flush down their toilets and their drains can impact what they pay for water and sewer rates, Veolia officials say.

Alpena city government contracts Veolia to manage the city’s water and sewer operations and the contractor is spreading the word that maintenance, repair, and equipment replacement costs are headed upward because people continue to flush materials that they shouldn’t.

Mike Collins, Veolia utilities manager, said a large volume of items such as baby wipes and other items like paper towel and grease don’t break down during the sanitation process and disrupt operations and damage equipment.

He said the cost for repairs and labor force officials to charge more when rates are established.

Collins said there has been a large increase in the number of baby wipes flushed and sent into the sewer system. He said the marketing for them may claim they are safe to flush, but that is not the case.

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