COVID-19 - Do Not Flush Wipes Down the Toilet
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD) urges customers to refrain from flushing disinfectant wipes down the toilet.
Amid increased usage of disinfectant wipes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LVMWD urges customers to refrain from flushing these wipes down the toilet.
Common household disinfectant wipes are a great tool in the battle against the novel coronavirus, however they are not meant to go down the toilet. In fact, all wipes – even those branded as “flushable” – do not dissipate in the sewer system and cause great harm to infrastructure at wastewater treatment facilities.
“All wet wipes, including disinfectant wipes, should be disposed of in the trash can,” said Riki Clark, public affairs associate for LVMWD. “Flushing them down the toilet clogs sewage systems and causes back-ups, which could potentially lead to another public health risk.”
Legislation is currently moving through the California State Senate to prevent companies from labeling wet wipes as “flushable”. Wastewater agencies have already experienced system clogs and spills during this pandemic, as a result of increasing amounts of wipes going down the toilet.
Additionally, considering the current unavailability of toilet paper, customers may resort to using paper towels instead. Similar to wipes, paper towels do not break down in the sewage system and can also cause major blockages. Any used paper products, with the exception of toilet paper, should be properly discarded into the trash.
“Wastewater treatment is paramount to maintaining both public health and a healthy watershed,” added JPA Board Chair Jay Lewitt. “The public must continue to do their part in both curbing the use of wet wipes and using the toilet as a trash can, especially during this pandemic and beyond.”
AB 1672, the bill seeking to limit usage of wet wipes, passed the Assembly in late January and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee later this Spring.
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District provides potable water, wastewater treatment, recycled water and biosolids composting to more than 70,000 residents in the cities of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village and unincorporated areas of western Los Angeles County.