City of Rochester Wastewater Department press release

DO NOT Flush Disinfecting Wipes, “Flushable” Wipes, Napkins or Paper Towels down

Toilets – Throw Them Away instead


Wastewater Treatment Plant Will be Overwhelmed, Consumers Will Face In-home

Plumbing Backups and Blockages


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are aware of the increased use of “flushable” wipes and flushing of non-flushable materials such as baby wipes, disinfecting wipes, napkins and paper towels. While the “flushable” wipes concern is not new to wastewater facilities, we are instructing our community members to pay extra attention to what they are using and flushing and remind you NOT to flush anything other than toilet paper. The wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and therefore clog systems very quickly.


The COVID-19 outbreak concern has created additional stress and uncertainty for everyone, and while we understand that supply shortages exacerbate these stresses and challenges, it is important to keep in mind that flushing anything other than toilet paper can create expensive and unsanitary problems for homeowners and businesses. Flushing wipes (even those labeled “flushable”) and other non-toilet paper materials causes clogs, backups, equipment and pipe breakages, and in bad cases, can even force raw sewage back into peoples’ homes. The cost to repair these damages is unfortunately borne by individual homeowners or the public.


As a reminder, the following products are NOT flushable, dispose in a waste basket:


  • Paper towels o Napkins


o  Kleenex and other tissues


o Wet wipes/baby wipes (even those labeled as “flushable” wipes) o Diapers


o Feminine hygiene products o Gauze/Band-Aids


Thank you for helping keep our community and facilities clean and functioning! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at the Wastewater Treatment Plant @ 574-835-3485 or 24/7 On Call 574-835-6007.






WWTP Superintendent

Community News