BY IRENE MASLOWSKI
SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
MERCERVILLE â€“ By making one small tweak in an everyday â€śdisposal habit,â€ť homeowners and businesses can help keep sewer rates down and protect the environment.
The change? Treat pre-moistened wipes like trash, not toilet paper. Instead of flushing them, toss them into the garbage. When it comes to home or office sewer lines, it may be smooth sailing for wipes, but the problem is that unlike toilet paper, they donâ€™t disintegrate and fall apart. Intact, they float along and then converge and accumulate in sewer systems.
Each year, wastewater facilities burn time and money raking and fishing globby messes of wipes out of equipment that pumps, filters, and screens sewage as it enters the treatment plant.
â€śWipes build up in sewer lines, causing back-ups and stoppages that can overflow into clean waters and pollute the environment, costing time and money to repair and clean up,â€ť said Peggy Gallos, Executive Director of the Association of Environmental Authorities of New Jersey (www.aeanj.org). â€śSewer systems have a major role in protecting our environment, and so it is important to see they run smoothly.â€ť
Other products that can cause clogs or other problems and that should not be flushed include:
* Disposable diapers, tampons, sanitary napkins. They are too bulky to pass through the pipes.