In the wastewater industry, flushable wipes and other materials that don’t follow the 3P rule (only Pee, Poop, toilet Paper go down the drain), are a real problem not only nationwide, but also here in Goshen.

Although the manufacturers advertise single-use cleansing and cleaner wipes as less hassle, flushable items, please know that these products do not breakdown in the sewer system like toilet paper.

The specialty wipes slide down the sewer pipe intact until they reach a lift station or the wastewater treatment plant. In the pump wells, these wipes and other stringy materials collect and bind together.

These rag balls get sucked into one of more than 80 sewage pumps and wrap themselves around the pump’s moving parts. The pumps bind up, shutdown and send a warning signal to wastewater staff at all hours of the day to fix the problem.

The fix requires the heavy pumps to be pulled with chains and a crane. Wastewater staff then goes to work pulling, sawing, and using every means necessary to remove the blockage.

Needless to say, this is a horrible job. Typically the work requires a couple hours of effort in all types of weather.

A recent picture taken of a blocked pump in Goshen shows it covered in these non-biodegradable wipes. Goshen sewer users, be the solution to sewer wipe pollution by following the 3P rule!