Stop flushing cloths and wipes down the toilet

MADISON, Wis. Sewer experts urge people to stop flushing non-flushable items after finding wipes and rags in sewage.

A lot of Jon Karch's job at the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District is making sure wastewater comes in and clean water goes out.

"I don't mind it," Karch said.

He said it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

"It doesn't phase you once you've been in it for a while," he said.

He said lately it's more hands on than usual.

"It's constant upkeep and maintenance," he said.

Karch said mounds of wipes and rags get stuck in the pumps and he has to pull them out to fix it.

"If you take toilet paper and flushable wipes and put them in a jar and spin them around the toilet paper would dissolve the flushable wipe -- nothing would happen," he said.

He explained the wipes get through the pipes but won't break down in the sewage system, which causes the pumps to tap out.

"They make a mess for us," he said.

Sewer experts said if you flush anything other toilet paper, it can cost you later.

"It doesn't happen just here in the treatment plant, it can happen in your homes as well," Amanda Wegner, spokesperson for the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District said.

She said flushing wipes can cause sewage back-ups.

"It can definitely clog your pipes or sewer lateral, which is the pipe that runs from the house to the street and connects to our system," she said.

She explained to get it fixed it could cost you thousands.

Karch said there's one easy fix.

"Do not flush anything other than toilet paper or human waste," he said.