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City Reminds Residents Toilet Trash Clogs Pipes and Can be Costly for Homeowners

Post Date:05/05/2020 2:35 PM
Sewer Backups graphicWith many people across North Texas using more “flushable” and disinfecting wipes for sanitary purposes and to clean frequently touched surfaces, the City of Carrollton reminds citizens to only flush number one, number two, and the paper hanging next to you. 

While items like “flushable” wipes can serve as alternatives for toilet paper, they are not actually flushable and can clog pipes, damaging plumbing and causing costly repairs for homeowners. Clogged pipes can also lead to sanitary sewer overflows (SSO), which can contaminate our waters, kill fish, cause serious water quality problems and economic loss, and result in property damage and public health impacts. 

Other items to avoid dumping down the drain include paper towels, facial tissue, disinfecting wipes, disposable gloves, cotton swabs, disposable toilet brushes, cigarette butts, cat litter, and hygiene products, as well as fats, oils, and grease as these items do not dissolve in water and can also clog sewer lines. 

The City’s partner for wastewater services, the Trinity River Authority (TRA), has reported an increase of disinfecting wipes and disposable gloves being flushed down the drain across the region since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, Carrollton has not experienced this issue, and we want to keep it that way.

All items other than toilet paper, including disinfecting wipes and gloves, should be disposed of in a garbage receptable. If residents need to use alternative items other than toilet paper for sanitary purposes, they should contain the items in a plastic bag and dispose of it in their trash, as one would a disposable diaper. Remember, the toilet is not a trashcan. 

The City of Carrollton is committed to maintaining its 430 miles of public sanitary sewer lines and 5,947 manholes to help prevent SSO and asks residents to join in the prevention effort as well. Citizens’ habits have a direct impact on their wastewater’s 20-mile journey to the water treatment plant and how much it will cost to treat the wastewater once it gets there.

“The health and safety of our residents is of the highest priority to the City,” Bob Scott, Assistant City Manager and Chief Financial Officer, said. “As we work together to slow the community spread of COVID-19 and get through this public health situation, we urge citizens to join us in the effort to keep our sanitary sewer lines functioning properly and prevent SSO.”

Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of all service lines extending from the City mains to their residence or business. If you experience a plumbing stoppage, become familiar with the sewer service line cleanouts on your property and contact a plumber. If your plumber finds that your service line is broken where it connects to the City’s sewer main, contact Public Works at 972-466-3425 and request a sewer service call. Only City Public Works employees may repair sewer lines in the right-of-way due to the multitude of utilities contained in a small area that must be protected. Homeowners or business owners will be charged a $75 sewer service call fee during regular business hours (Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or a $150 sewer service call fee after regular business hours.  

If you see what appears to be sewage in the street or if any of your neighbors also have sewer stoppages at the same time, call the City’s 24-hour emergency number, 972-466-3425, immediately.

Grocery stores are considered essential businesses and have remained open throughout this public health emergency, so there is no need to stockpile items like toilet paper. 

For more information about the City’s response to COVID-19, the orders in place statewide and in each of the counties in which Carrollton occupies space, and a number of other information resources, visit cityofcarrollton.com/coronavirus

For more information about the City’s sanitary sewer lines and what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, visit cityofcarrollton.com/toilettrash.

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