Town asks people not to flush disposable wipes down the toilet

The Town of Amherst, like many other Nova Scotia municipalities, is asking the public to refrain from flushing disposable sanitizing wipes down the toilet.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been encouraged to use the wipes to clean flat surfaces like counter tops, but Deputy-CAO Jason MacDonald says the wipes can harm sanitary sewer systems.

“While some of these wipes are labeled as ‘flushable, disposable or compostable,’ they often get caught in the town’s sanitary sewer system causing town employees to have to physically remove them from our lift stations and waste water treatment plant,” he said on Friday, March 20, 2020.

In addition to causing problems with the town’s sanitary sewer system, MacDonald said the wipes also have the potential to get caught in the homeowners’ pipes, which could lead to problems with the homeowner’s private sewer system.

“All wipes should be placed in the garbage for safe disposal,” he said.

The Deputy CAO noted Amherst wasn’t the only community making the same request. Pointing to a CBC story, he noted the Municipality of the County of Kings, the Town of Wolfville, the Municipality of Clare and Halifax Water have issued similar requests to their citizens.