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Maryland Department of the Environment

Department of the Environment issues reminder: “No wipes in the pipes”


Disposable wipes, paper towels should not go into the toilet, which can cause sewage backups and overflows

BALTIMORE (March 25, 2020) – The Maryland Department of the Environment is reminding everyone that they should not dispose of wipes, paper towels or other products other than toilet paper by flushing them down the toilet. This reminder is being issued to prevent home plumbing problems, clogs in public sewer systems that could cause sewage backups into homes or overflows or damage to wastewater treatment plants and the environment.

As toilet paper has been difficult to find in stores, some may be tempted to use other products and flush them away. The toilet is not the proper disposal venue for these other products, which should be thrown out in the trash.

Sewage overflows or backups into homes create a health risk due to increased levels of bacteria and disease-causing pathogens. Clogs can also do costly damage to infrastructure, including sewage lines and wastewater treatment plants.

“Communities in Maryland and around the country understand the value of our sewers and treatment plants and the fact that clean water begins at home with proper disposal of wipes and other materials,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles.

New Windsor Mayor Neal C. Roop provided a photograph of a clog at a town pumping station, adding: “NO WIPES IN THE PIPES!”


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