The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every aspect of our daily lives. That includes more regular disinfecting and cleaning of our homes. We recently wrote a blog with 5 tips on how you can clean your home while avoiding toxic chemicals. For more tips on how to clean up after your cleaning up, keep reading!
In addition to using the right products and cleaning regularly, it’s important to discard the used wipes and paper towels into the garbage and NOT down the toilet. This has always been important and will continue to be after COVID-19 because disposable wipes cause major problems for sewers and wastewater infrastructure.
“Flushable” wipes aren’t actually flushable
Wipes, even ones that claim to be “flushable”, get clogged in the pipes in your home or building, in your neighbourhood, and eventually in the main sewers. They create giant masses called “fatbergs” (here’s an image of one).
Municipalities have been on the front lines in the battle against wipes and are bearing the costs to fix the problems they cause. These wipe products going down the toilet cost Canadian municipalities $250 million dollars every year. Currently, however, the impact of flushing these products could have more severe impacts due to COVID-19.
Help support essential workers by disposing of wipes properly
Water and wastewater utility workers are essential. They are continuing to work behind the scenes to make sure our water keeps running and sewers keep functioning through the pandemic. Like many essential services, they’re facing challenges and threats to their operations as staff fall ill, and as they work to implement physical distancing and other public health measures. Unclogging a fatberg could mean workers being pulled away from their regular duties to fix a preventable problem.
The wastewater sector is dealing with its own set of stresses due to COVID-19. It certainly does not need sewers failing and fatbergs causing massive backups and issues to operations. We need to do our part to keep things running smoothly by only flushing toilet paper and human waste, and nothing else! Many cities and towns have issued warnings, urging people to keep disinfecting wipes out of the toilets and into the garbage bin.
Hamilton, we need your help! Please be sure to only flush pee, poo and toilet paper down the toilet. Other items like paper towels and wipes will wreak havoc in your own pipes, pipes in the neighbourhood and wastewater system. #HamOnt
— City of Hamilton (@cityofhamilton) March 22, 2020
We’re all using more paper towels and wipes than usual to keep ourselves safe and healthy. Disinfecting and cleaning are more important than ever. So is making sure we properly dispose of things we use to do the cleaning! We can all do our part to lessen the burden on essential workers who are busy behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. One way we can do this is simply by throwing wipes where they belong: the garbage!
If you are able, we hope you will consider making a donation to help us continue our work in protecting our environment and the health of your family and friends.