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Wipes causing more blockage in sewage lines in Springfield

Since the start of the pandemic, Springfield's Treatment Plant is seeing more debris in sewage lines.
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 5:38 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -

The coronavirus pandemic has us all cleaning a bit more. However, not disposing of wipes correctly has led to another problem in Springfield’s sewage line. Brian Wirth, the Superintendent of Clean Water Services, said, “We’ve seen an increase in pumps getting clogged.”

Paper towels, wipes, and Kleenex do not dissolve in water. Instead, they flow from your home through Springfield’s sewage line. Clogging the pipes as they go. Throw everything away unless it is toilet paper.

“They’ll just remain as they are in the water. And once you get to a bottleneck or a pump, they’ll form a big ball and clog everything up,” Wirth said.

It has gotten so bad that grinders have been installed along the sewage line just to break all the wipes up.

“We’ve seen an increase in having to respond to lift stations, pumps getting clogged, Since the start of the pandemic,” Wirth said.

All the wipes that you flush down the toilet end up at the Southwest Treatment Plant for filtering. Screens catch some of the wipes.

“It’ll end up at each step of the treatment process,” Wirth said.

The solution is very simple.

“Unless it’s toilet paper, let’s keep it out of the toilet,” Wirth said.

Wirth said do not just be careful with sinks. Pouring oil and grease down the drain will also clog up the sewage line. Oil and grease do not dissolve in water.

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