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CityLink Seattle

Most “flushable” products are no such thing

Flushing anything but toilet paper can cause massive sewage clogs—at your expense

Pump Station #9Don’t believe those ads promoting so-called “flushable” products that can supposedly be safely disposed of in your toilet. For the most part, the claims are a bunch of malarkey.

Just ask Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) Pump Station No. 9.

Sitting on the shore of Lake Washington near a large public beach, the station is in constant operation—pumping Seattle’s sewage to the treatment plant at the rate of 130 gallons per minute. Despite its steady pumping, the station requires continual maintenance to free it of paper towels, tissues, wet wipes, and other products that should have been put in the trash.

A new video just posted by SPU shows these thick, gross blockages and the work performed by SPU crews to clear them.

Almost half of Pump Station 9’s maintenance costs are spent clearing the clogs. It costs about $1 million each year to clean and maintain all of Seattle’s 68 sewage pump stations. King County maintains another 14 pump stations within the City of Seattle.

Without that steady maintenance, clogs at Pump Station 9 would cause sewage to overflow into Lake Washington. Pump stations throughout the city are located in public spaces, shopping centers, and residential areas — and they pose similar threats.

To be kind to Station 9 and her sisters, please do not flush paper towels, facial tissue, cotton swabs, personal and baby wipes, hair, dental floss, feminine hygiene products, condoms or cat litter. Even products advertised as “flushable” cause problems in the sewer, as they do not easily break down. Foreign objects that are able to flush in the literal sense still lead to clogging in the sewer.

Comments

Comment from Tiệc cưới
Time November 4, 2014 at 7:57 am

I think flushable is bad for our mermaid life.

Comment from quat tran
Time September 21, 2015 at 8:00 pm

I think flushable is bad for our fish life

Comment from Unlimited Lettuce
Time April 17, 2016 at 8:31 am

I think flushable is bad for our noses.

Comment from sừng tê giác
Time April 17, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Only toilet paper is specifically designed to disintegrate into single fibers after a few minutes (at the most in good quality paper) of water contact

Comment from thùng carton
Time June 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm

I think flushable is bad for our life

Comment from băng dính
Time June 5, 2016 at 7:35 pm

The problem really is that often the clog starts in the public sewage system – but if it happens in a private pipe the costs often amount to a month’s salary or more. Maybe you should emphasize the potential private cost too

Comment from lam dep da tu nhien
Time August 11, 2016 at 7:21 pm

YES! Grownups are now using the same wipes once reserved for babies, leading to millions of dollars of sewer problems!

Comment from giúp việc An Tâm
Time March 27, 2017 at 12:46 am

Without that steady maintenance, clogs at Pump Station 9 would cause sewage to overflow into Lake Washington. Pump stations throughout the city are located in public spaces, shopping centers, and residential areas — and they pose similar threats.

Comment from Caken Kraken
Time May 10, 2017 at 2:33 am

I must be pleased for sharing your ideas. Thank you for the good writes up. It’s a brilliant job.

Comment from cong ty in mat viet
Time May 15, 2017 at 1:00 am

I read the article I feel that the writer gives a lot of useful information in his work.

Comment from XRumerTest
Time May 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Hello. And Bye.