City of Newton: Wipes and rags wreaking havoc on sewer lines

By: KAKE News - Email
By: KAKE News - Email

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NEWTON, Kan. — After a recent rash of destructive sewer backups, one Kansas community is asking residents to stop flushing wipes and other material that's clogging the city's pipes.

The City of Newton wastewater staff have discovered numerous items blocking the sewer lines, leading to expensive repairs for city crews - and the potential to flood homes and yards.

Crews have found Swiffer cloths, disposable wipes, paper towels, rags, feminine hygiene products, Q-tips, dental floss, condoms and needles - items that are causing more frequent back-ups.

Many new products, including wipes, claim to be flushable. Even so, the city says that doesn't mean they're then treatable in the city's wastewater system.

Water/Wastewater Superintendent Ed Bonham said Newton is not alone in this, and it's a problem of growing concern in cities across the country.


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