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The MHOG Utility Department

Proud to Serve:

Municipal water customers in the townships of Marion, Howell, Oceola, and Genoa and sanitary sewer customers in the townships of Genoa and Oceola

For a Sewer or Water



Good Practices for Septic and Sewer Customers

Don’t Flush Your Money Down the Drain

Whether City Sewer or Septic System, using Flushable Wipes can cause big time sewer woes and in some cases big time $$.  It is very important to remember that by its very definition, something is “flushable” if it can pass through a toilet and into a sewer system; however that does not mean because it can be flushed that it should be flushed.  Toilet manufacturers test the strength of their toilet’s flush mechanism by measuring the number of golf balls that the toilet can flush.  Therefore, golf balls are by definition flushable, but by no means should we ever consider that they should be flushed.  In this article we will emphasize why flushable wipes can cause the same types of problems as if you were flushing golf balls down your toilet.

More and more people are using flushable wipes for personal hygiene and convenience.  However, unlike traditional toilet paper, these wipes have a much thicker woven fiber nature, which makes them much slower to break down or decompose biologically and also very resistant to break down by mechanical processes typical in municipal operations.  As a result, in a typical rural residential septic system, they build up in septic tanks reducing treatment and capacity. They can clog pipes by getting stuck in bends or catching on joints, and if your septic system has a pump, they can clog and bind pump parts.  In the municipal sewers they can become an even greater expense item as they can clog sewer mains resulting in expensive and devastating sewage backups into homes or businesses.  They frequently clog pump impellers by balling up in the center or winding tight around rotating parts to slow or halt pump performance.  These impacts cost significant money as we have to increase cleaning maintenance of sewer pipes and pump stations, including more frequent change out of pumps.  Unfortunately, these increased costs are passed onto all residents in the form of higher sewer rates. 

Our office strongly recommends that if disposable moist “towelettes” are used, that they be placed in your trash and not in your toilet.  By making this simple change, you will reduce your risk of being impacted by a sewer system backup and likely save yourself some money down the road.