Epidemic of wipes plague sewers due to pandemic, pleas ignored by U.S. citizens

U.S. cities are seeing an unwelcome side effect of the pandemic. The sewers are being jammed with wipes, but no-one's listening to pleas to stop flushing them down the toilet. Officials say there's been a 17-ton increase in wipes blocking sewage pipes despite a huge investment in machines to get rid of them. The new coronavirus has compounded the problem, according to Lyn Riggins, a spokesperson with WSSC Water. "We see it every single day. No one is hearing the message, and part of the problem is that the packaging on a lot of wipes says flushable. Well, sure, they're flushable. Your child can flush their toy down the toilet, but you shouldn't," Riggins said. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have issued pleas for people to be careful about what they flush. However, the calls appear to have been ignored. WSSC Water has spent 1.5 million U.S. dollars over the past decade to install pumps at wastewater pumping stations to grind up wipes. Sanitary overflows, and emergency repairs have become commonplace across the country during the pandemic. The warning: "Do Not Flush" has to be a certain size, and it has to be placed in an obvious and visible part of the packaging.