City joins coalition to wipe-out flushable wipes

(Penticton: February 19, 2018) – The City of Penticton is partnering up with other cities as well as the Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group (MESUG) and the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) to help raise awareness of “flushable” wipes and their damage to city sewer systems.

The so-called “flushable” wipes serve as a handy alternative to traditional cleaning supplies, while offering the convenience of quick disposal. However, contrary to what is marketed, these wipes are not flushable, do not break down and cause blockages to the turbines and pumps that keep sewer systems running.

The coalition hopes to create an enforceable standard among fellow municipalities to work to eliminate the abundance of “flushable” wipes in our sewer systems and request to have Canadian wastewater utilities contribute to a common fund for the further work of the ISO (international standard) and International Water Services Flushability Group (IWSFG).

“There’s a big problem lurking in our sewers, and the City needs your help. Please let your family and friends know to never flush any wipes down the toilet, even if they are claimed to be “flushable”, but instead dispose of them in the garbage”, said Waste Water Supervisor, Randy Craig.  “Like most wastewater water utilities around the world, the City of Penticton has seen an increase with wipes incorrectly described as “flushable” causing issues in the pipes and pumping stations of our wastewater system. This presents a significant maintenance and repair cost to City taxpayers and can block pipes which can lead to wastewater overflows into homes.”

MESUG estimates more than $250 million of Canadian Taxpayer money is spent annually to address issues caused by baby wipes, disinfectant wipes and other allegedly “flushable” materials.

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Contact:

Randy Craig

Waste Water Supervisor

City of Penticton

250-490-2559