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Posted on: January 27, 2017

Disposable wipes causing problems for city sewer system

City of Alice’s Public Works Department is urging residents to help stop clogging pipes by not flushing disposable wipes and other items that are causing problems for the city’s sewer system.

“We’ve gotten a lot of calls recently to go out and clean sewer lines and we’re finding that back-ups that are occurring are preventable,” said City Staff.

Many items marketed as disposable or flushable — such as baby wipes and household cleaning products — do not degrade as quickly as toilet paper and end up clogging pipes, tangling pumps and causing sanitary sewer overflows into businesses, homes and streets.  The results can be costly, not only to the business or homeowner, but also to the city, costing thousands of taxpayer dollars to repair. 

These household wipes and cleaning towelettes have the ability to clog and stop up not only the sewer line on your property, but also can cause blockage and service problems in City of Alice’s Sanitary Sewer System and lift stations. 

 One (city) block might stop up and cause a few problems, but once you have many blocks of this, they dump into one lift station and can create major problems that become very costly to repair.

Bottom line: Just because the package says “flushable” does not mean it should be flushed.

Sewers are designed to dispose of very specific things. Using your toilet for disposal of many modern products can result in blockages. The drains that connect your home or business to City of Alice’s main sewer lines are only big enough to carry water, toilet paper and human waste.

Items not to be flushed include:

•Diapers — cloth, disposable, flushable

•Facial tissues

•Baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, moist wipes, flushable wipes, etc.

•Toilet bowl scrub pads

•Mop or Swiffer-type refills

•Napkins — paper or cloth, paper towels

•Dental floss

•Egg shells, nutshells and coffee grounds

•Fats, oils and grease

•Food items containing seeds and peelings


•Sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms or any non-organic material

•Vitamins, medicines or other pharmaceuticals

•Wash cloths, towels, rags (any cloth item)


•Cigarette butts

For more information, call the Public Works Department at (361) 668-7270.

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Alice Texas
500 E. Main St., Alice, TX 78332 • Ph: (361) 668-7210 • Fx. (361) 668-4353
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