Don’t overwhelm the sewage system
The panic purchase for the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be toilet paper. But people often turn to substitutes that do not break down well in the sewage system when the home supply runs out.
Like stores around the country, Madison County cannot keep up with the demand for toilet paper. Shipments of food and items will continue to be delivered, but the stock does not stay long. Madison County All Hazards Incident Management Team is concerned about clogs, backups and breakages overwhelming wastewater treatment plants.
“It is important to keep in mind that flushing anything other than toilet paper can create expensive and unsanitary problems for homeowners and businesses,” Madison County All Hazards Incident Management Team said.
Deputy Director of Emergency Management Joe Brummel said that Madison County’s wastewater systems have a low threshold for clogs because of their small size.
“That’s a big problem,” Ennis Public Works Director Kelly Elser said.
Ennis has a machine that can unplug main sewer lines, but it cannot be used for home sewage lines. It is likely that flushing things other than toilet paper down the toilet would affect household pipes before causing a clog in towns’ sewage system.
According to the Madison County All Hazards Incident Management Team, flushing wipes, including ones labeled as flushable, and other non- toilet paper materials causes clogs, backups, equipment and pipe breakage. Taxpayer money or individual homeowners cover the repair costs for damages to the wastewater system.
“Please just throw it away,” Brummel said.