A Public Service Message from the Iowa Park Public Wastewater System
Even though some of these products are marketed as “flushable,” there is no such thing as a flushable wipe, a flushable paper towel or a flushable facial tissue. These products should never be flushed under any circumstances.
If they don’t clog your toilet, they may clog the sewer lateral to your home. This will not be very popular with your family or house mates, especially those responsible for cleaning the bathrooms. If they don’t clog the sewer lateral, they may clog the sewer main. This will not be popular with your neighbors who also have bathrooms to clean. If they make it to the wastewater lift station, they may ruin pumps or motors. This increases the cost for all wastewater customers. If wipes, paper towels or facial tissues happen to make it all the way to the sewage treatment plant, as many do, there is yet another opportunity to ruin expensive pumps and motors.
Toilet paper is a remarkable product: by design, it is strong when dry and weak when wet. The paper pulp, wood cellulose, is pounded very thin, yet cast fluffy. Toilet paper is environmentally-friendly, compact and low in cost. It’s strong enough to perform its essential function while smooth on your body. Most importantly, it will disintegrate in turbulent water and not clog pipes. The fewer plys, the better.
Unlike toilet paper, wet-wipes, paper towels or facial tissues are designed to have wet-strength. This is why there is no such thing a flushable wipes, paper towels or facial tissues and why these products frequently clog toilets and sewer systems.
The Iowa Park Wastewater System has fewer than 3 thousand taps, yet every year, literally tons of wipes, paper towels and facial tissues are removed from the public sewer system. Nobody will admit to it, but somebody did it. This was a significant problem during “the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020;” however, for some reason the problem seems to be recurring one year later, even with fully-stocked shelves of a wide variety of toilet papers.
Wipes, paper towels and facial tissues are great and awesome products, but please don’t flush them. We, our families, neighbors and fellow citizens pay the price for it.
Jerry Flemming, City Manager
City of Iowa Park
PO Box 190
Iowa Park, TX 76367-0190