The Capital Regional District says disinfectant and disinfectant wipes, paper towels and latex gloves should not be flushed or put down the drain. (Unsplash)

COVID-19: Latex gloves, paper towel and wipes are not flushable, local authorities warn

Improper flushing can clog and damage a community’s septic and sewer systems

With toilet paper in low supply and cleaning in high gear, local government officials are reminding the public that paper towels, disinfectant wipes (even the ‘flushable’ kind) and latex gloves pose a significant risk to B.C.’s sanitary collection systems.

“With individuals and families doing their part by staying home, our systems are seeing a spike in use,” said Jeff Miller, director of engineering and public works for the Township of Esquimalt. “We need to be mindful of how we’re treating the Township’s assets.”

Miller reminds residents the only things that should be going into the sanitary system are human waste and toilet paper.

According to the Capital Regional District (CRD) on southern Vancouver Island, improper materials can lead to clogs, blockages and wastewater equipment damage – all of which can shut down sewer systems.

READ ALSO: Costco bans return of hoarded items, including toilet paper

And a sewage clog or blockage can result in raw sewage overflows into the region’s rivers or lakes. It could even require you to have to leave your home – an especially complicated scenario in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our municipal sewer systems are built to handle human waste and toilet paper that is specifically designed to deteriorate quickly,” said Glenn Harris, senior manager of the CRD’s environmental protection team. “Anything else … that you put down your drains leads to clogs, blockages and sewer pump damage.”

He said that solid waste “can mix with fats, oils and grease in the wastewater to form large clogs.”

Harris emphasized that the same rules apply for those using septic systems.

“Septic systems are like municipal sewer systems, but toilet paper designed for these systems deteriorates slower to protect the distribution field,” he explained. “However, anything else … that you put down your drains leads to clogs, blockages and sewer pump damage. Any of these situations can shut down your septic system.”

Harris said disinfectant can also kill off beneficial bacteria in septic systems and leave your wastewater untreated.

For more information about proper use of septic or sewer systems, check with your local government authority.

READ ALSO: Protect yourself from COVID-19 by grabbing a bar of soap

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusCRD sewage

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Chemainus artist’s painting of a front-line worker a powerful image

Chemainus artist puts her creative touch to COVID Angel

Drivesmart column: Traffic calming in your neighbourhood

Since the police are only part of the solution, what are the alternatives?

COVID-19 means different graduations for Cowichan students in 2020

At Lake Cowichan students did the traditional hat toss

Mary Lowther column: Pre-sprouting corn in paper towels

My new packet of spinach didn’t grow when I put the seeds directly into potting soil

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read