Village request residents to refrain from flushing baby wipes
The Village of Goreville is facing an increase in the amount of clogging at a number of its sewage pump lift stations due to residents flushing baby wipes, hand wipes and other products that label themselves to be biodegradable.
Goreville sewer superintendent Mike Green said previously pump stations required cleaning two or three times a year and now they are returning two or three times a month.
“We have seen the gradual growth of products using the same materials for disposable cleanups,” Green said. “These baby wipes and others do not break apart like toilet paper and they are causing havoc on the sewer system.”
Green said Goreville’s sewer system is already under duress as its age and the community’s growing population puts a strain on its capacity more and more each year.
“These cloths are made of fibers that help collect waste and materials in one spot clogging the system,” Green said. “People are finding their homes requiring rotor rooter services as the cloths snag on roots and create clogs that would otherwise not break down on their own for years.”
Green said that many of the products are labeled as biodegradable, but that is in reference to their ability to break down over a period of time in a landfill, not immediately in the sewer system, as toilet paper will.
“The Village will eventually need to pass an ordinance to fine homeowners who are repeat offenders because this is becoming a situation that quickly leads to a disruption of service,” Green said. “The only thing anyone should flush down a toilet is human waste and toilet paper.”
Green said over time the added pressure put upon the pumps will wear them out quicker leading to more expense on the Village’s part.
“These wipes are wearing the pumps out,” Green said. “Anyone using any type of wipes-like material should dispose of them in the trash and not the toilet.”