MDEQ Advises People to NOT Flush Disinfecting Wipes and Paper Towels


PRESS RELEASE

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
TATE REEVES
GOVERNOR
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
CHRISTOPHER G. WELLS
INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

For Immediate Release March 23, 2020

MDEQ Advises People to NOT Flush Disinfecting Wipes and Paper Towels

(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is advising people to not flush disinfecting wipes, paper towels, or similar products in toilets but to dispose of them in household garbage. These items can cause damage to wastewater treatment and collection systems creating clogs, backups, pump failures, and sewer overflows creating additional public health issues. Wipes listed as “flushable” can also cause problems for wastewater and septic systems.

“An increasing number of people are currently at home and consuming more wipes and paper towels than normal. We are advising people to remember that toilets and wastewater systems are not designed to process those types of things, which we consider to be trash. Please dispose of these items properly with your other household garbage,” said Chris Wells, MDEQ Interim Executive Director.

Wipes are among the leading causes of sewer system backups and impacts to wastewater collection and treatment systems. Many centralized sewage collection systems depend on gravity and water flow to move human waste and biodegradable toilet paper. Other items in the system can result in backups and spills that can cause discharges to the state’s water-bodies creating public health and environmental issues.

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Media Contact:

Robbie Wilbur
Communications Director
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Post Office Box 2261
Jackson, Mississippi 39225
601-961-5277 (o)
601-421-5699 (c)
@MDEQ

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1800, Ocean Springs, MS 39566-1800
Delivery Address: 1018 Porter Avenue, Ocean Springs, MS 39564