Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village of Glen Ellyn wants to advise residents against flushing wipes that are sold as “flushable” down the toilet. Flushing these wipes that are labeled flushable or biodegradable, and paper towels, down the toilet can lead to sewer backups and in-home plumbing issues. Wipes can snag on any imperfection in sewer pipes, catch passing debris and grease, and create a “ball” that will grow to eventually plug the pipe. The wipes get drawn into sewer lift station and wastewater treatment plant pumps where they can clog or damage the pumps. Municipalities must manually clear out the pumps or remove the clogs.
In addition to wipes, the Glenbard Wastewater Authority warns against pouring grease, fat or oil down the drain. When washed down the drain, grease and oil can adhere to the insides of the pipes that carry the wastewater from homes and businesses to the sewer treatment facility. Over time, this buildup of grease can restrict the flow of wastewater, or worse yet, block the homeowners’ or utility’s sewer pipes. These blockages can lead to sewage overflows or backups in homes and businesses. It can also have an adverse effect on the environment if the overflow enters local rivers, lakes and streams. For more information on why it’s important to keep fat, oils and grease out of the sewer pipes, visit the Village website.