County: Don’t flush wipes, paper towels down toilets

LIHU‘E — County officials wish to inform residents and businesses that wipes (including those labeled as “flushable”) and paper towels should not be flushed down the toilet.

These products contribute to blockages in the sewer system and lead to wastewater spills. These products do not breakdown like toilet paper. They tend to get caught on rough surfaces in the sewer system and cause blockages in pipes and clog pumps.

This leads to numerous problems for a sewer system or individual wastewater system (cesspool or septic system). This can result in a wastewater spill from a manhole which can affect homes, businesses, rivers and the ocean. It can also cause home or business drains and/or toilets to backup and spill.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of these wipes and paper towels has increased drastically. Dispose of these wipes and paper towels in home or office refuse, which ends up in the landfill. All trash should be bagged prior to disposal because loose trash tends to become wind-blown litter in the streets or the landfill.

It is imperative that we keep the public safe from being exposed to wastewater, and keeping wipes and paper towels out of the sewer system will be a tremendous help, according to a county press release.

Info: Jason Kagimoto, county Department of Public Works, 241-4083 or jkagimoto@kauai.gov

3 Comments
  1. douglas henry March 26, 2020 10:03 am Reply

    Put a little trash can by the toilet. Wipe yourself and place the paper in the trash can. Then dump the trash as usual. This is done in many countries of the world who have inferior sewage systems.


  2. J Hull March 26, 2020 11:35 am Reply

    Three years ago I noticed 2 paper towels discarded on the rough pavement of a road where I walk. I usually pick up trash but didn’t somehow, and then, after a rain, I saw that those paper towels had puffed up and turned into some kind of plastic sludge that was plastered into the recesses of the pavement. After many rains, that sludge is still there. That’s when I realized why paper towels should never be flushed.


  3. Charlie Chimknee March 26, 2020 10:34 pm Reply

    Flushing paper or anything else but human excrements into the toilet…downwards to the cess pool, septic tank, or septic system, or sewer treatment plant, especially after wiping #2 is rather disgusting when you think of it.

    You see in Europe and other world sophisticated areas, well, actually including “bush” using people, hmmmm, perhaps even the homeless, the act of wiping yourself with paper to flush or put in a waste basket is not only ungodly unsanitary but ignorant of a usual better off nearby ( a few steps away) home use facility. Have you guessed yet…?

    Ok you are in gas station, airport, plane, or Big Box store…ok go ahead and wipe and flush it…yeeech…! You,really have no choice.

    You see Euros have installed at their home and even in many public toilets a weird looking extra looking toilet, a bidet (bih-day.) the Bidet shoots a stream of water up to your behind or urinary zone and washes your butt for you with no need for wipe and really smear your butt with your own former food.

    But, no pun intended, most people in America, 99% of them, when they use the bathroom for a #2 they are at home right next you their shower…and if you do not know, the shower water pipe going out, well down, connects to the toilet pipe and they jointly go to the same hole in the ground…the cess pool, septic tank, or septic system, or sewer system treatment plant.

    Sanitary, cleanliness, higiene-wise, use your shower and a shower hose and wash yourself with warm soapy water…save the forest (paper), and prevent flies following you down the street after.

    You feel better, carry yourself better, and be more sure of yourself at the next destination, and in a year think of the money and trees you will save, especially with a family, and you may be able to afford a vacation or big screen TV. Or a Mercedes if you have 8 kids.

    Invest in a shower hose that connects to the shower Head and you are in the Personal cleaning business after you do your business.

    While some people are strong, odor isn’t everything. Invest in clean and prevent infection in your private area.

    It’s an old idea whose time has come…!


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