G.N. residents, don’t flush wipes

A pump clogged with wet wipes at a wastewater treatment center.

The Great Neck Water Pollution Control District is reminding residents to avoid flushing wet wipes down the toilet and instead urging them to dispose of these materials in the trash. Wipes, often advertised as “flushable” by manufactures for sales purposes, have consistently been found to create blockages in individual household sewer lines and the wastewater treatment center’s infrastructure.

“As part of the district’s ongoing educational initiatives, we want to remind residents not to flush wet wipes even if they are advertised as flushable — providing an easy way to be an active participant in protecting the environment and lowering the chance of costly repairs,” stated Great Neck Water Pollution Control District Commissioner Patty Katz. “It is unfortunate that so many brands continue to use the misleading term ‘flushable’ on labels but we will continue to provide residents the facts regarding the damages that these wipes cause.”

The majority of wastewater that flows through the district’s sewer system reaches the treatment center in a matter of hours and easily disintegrates while “flushable” wipes take days to breakdown and clog the sewer lines in the process. An influx of wipes into the system could lead to potentially hazardous effects including sanitary sewer overflows and the pollution of local waterways. The district also advises residents not to flush diapers, feminine hygiene products, paper towels or other items not intended for disposal down the sewer.

“It is our public duty to educate residents of the harm that certain items cause in our system and outline alternatives for disposal,” stated Great Neck Water Pollution Control District Commissioner Jerry Landsberg. “Following these recommendations will not only serve to benefit the functioning of your households lines but the community’s as a whole.”

In addition to offering resident’s guidelines about which items not to flush down the toilet, the district continues to inform residents about the dangers that fats, roots, oils and grease pose to their household sewer lines through its ongoing F.R.O.G.s community awareness initiative. In the coming weeks, the district will be reissuing F.R.O.G.s decals to local restaurants that maintain an approved grease trap.

The district also hosts two pharmaceutical drop off events each year to encourage residents to properly dispose of medications and prevent harmful chemical compounds from reaching the local water supply.

For additional information and updates about the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District, visit the website at www.gnwpcd.net to sign up for email newsletters or call the office at 516-482-0238.

 

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