Public Advised to NOT Flush Disinfecting Wipes, Paper Towels Down Toilet – Throw Them Away Instead
Wipes are among the leading causes of sewer system backups, impacting sewer system and treatment plant pumps and treatment systems. Many spills go to our lakes, rivers, and oceans where they have broad ranging impacts on public-health and the environment. Preventing sewer spills is important, especially during this COVID-19 emergency, for the protection of public health and the environment.
Please do not flush disinfectant wipes or paper towels down the toilet.
While the State Water Board and other public agencies encourage Californians to follow the Centers for Disease Control recommendations to clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is important to discard those items in the trash, not the toilet.
Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Even wipes labeled “flushable” will clog pipes and interfere with sewage collection and treatment throughout the state.
Wastewater treatment facilities around the state already are reporting issues with their sewer management collection systems. These facilities are asking state residents to not discard wipes in the toilet, but instead to throw them in the trash to avoid backups and overflow. A majority of urban centers are on centralized sewage collection systems depend on gravity and enough water flow to move along human waste and biodegrable toilet paper. The systems were not designed for individual nylon wipes and paper towels. The wipes and paper towels do not break down.
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The Board of Directors establishes policies for the operation of the District. The public is encouraged and invited to attend the regularly scheduled District Board meetings which occur at 2pm on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month.
Approximately 95% of the water the District distributes originates from the South Fork Stanislaus River and is impounded in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Lyons and Pinecrest Reservoirs. PG&E owns and operates a canal and flume system to convey water from Lyons Reservoir to the Phoenix Powerhouse. The District owns and operates a total of 71 miles of ditch, flume, pipe, and tunnel infrastructure that diverts water from the PG&E system at various locations. The majority of TUD customers reside in or near the community of Sonora which is at about elevation 2,000 feet elevation. TUD also serves customers in several communities to the east up to about elevation 6,000 feet elevation past Sierra Village.CLICK HERE
The District utilizes approximately 140 miles of sewer pipeline to collect between 400-500 million gallons of sewage per year. The Sonora Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant was constructed in the late 1970’s along with a network of sewer trunk lines to collect sewage from the surrounding areas of Columbia, East Sonora, Mono Village, Mono Vista, Ranchos Poquitos, Soulsbyville, Twain Harte, and Willow Springs. Also in the late 1970’s, a regional reclamation system was constructed that allows for the reuse of the treated sewer effluent for irrigation on pasture lands outside of the community of Jamestown. The overall sewer system directly serves approximately 6,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers.CLICK HERE