Why Wipes Are a Threat to Your Pipes (and Our Infrastructure)

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philadelphia water department

A Note to Customers: Flushing Wipes Could Cost You, Damage Infrastructure

Grit Pad

This photo showing litter and other nondegradeable items at a treatment plant was posted to the @PhillyH2O Facebook feed to warn residents about the impacts felt at Water Pollution Control Plants and pumping stations.

Flushing anything but waste and toilet paper can lead to expensive damage in homes and at treatment plants.

Due to a flood of sanitary wipes at the city’s three Water Pollution Control Plants and 19 pumping stations, we are calling on residents to stop flushing anything other than toilet paper along with bathroom waste.

The COVID-19 emergency has resulted in an especially dramatic increase in flushed wipes—and an increased potential for clogged pipes and damaged infrastructure.

Read about this issue and a growing pandemic litter problem from protective gear:

What's So Bad About Flushing Wipes?

We need your help, both in keeping the waste stream free of wipes and litter and in spreading the word to friends and family!


More on COVID-19 Response

To remind people that tap water is safe to drink and detail impacts to our services, we have put our updates on a PWD COVID-19 Updates Page.

Stay safe, and remember that our hotline is still open for emergencies. Just call (215) 685-6300.