Janesville to residents: Don't flush hand wipes down the toilet

This photo shows a special toilet in a women's stall at the University of Michigan engineering building Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, in Ann Arbor, Mich. The toilet which diverts urine and solid waste is part of a multi-state project researching the conversion of human urine into fertilizer. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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JANESVILLE The City of Janesville is asking residents to not flush their hand wipes down the toilet, as more people use the wipes to cleanse their hands amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Already crews have noticed an uptick of hand wipes and other items not suited for the water treatment system floating in the sewer lines, according to the city.

Janesville says that wipes labeled 'flushable' are not necessarily good for the water treatment system. Often such wipes cling to grease and other debris, and can cause menacing jams.

Those blockages have to be manually removed by crews from sewer lines or at a treatment plant. If left undetected, wipes can cause large breaks in the sewer mains and lead to costly repairs, according to the city.

The City of Janesville asks residents to throw the following products in the trash rather than down the commode.

- Any kind of wipes
- Feminine hygiene products
- Vitamins
- Contraceptive devices
- Medicines
- Cloth items
- Food or candy packaging
- Bandages
- Toilet cleaning pads or solid products
- Plastic materials
- Napkins or paper towels
- Kitty litter
- Dental floss
- Pet waste
- Greases, fats or oils
- Any inorganic material

The only two items that should ever be flushed are human waste and toilet paper, the city says.

Questions can be directed to the Janesville Wastewater Utility Department at (608) 755-3120.