Flushable wet wipes could clog collection system

Crews cleaned large clog off pumping station

Every week, crews remove a small dump-truck full of stuff from La Crosse’s wastewater treatment plant.

It’s stuff that should never have been flushed in the first place, which can clog the system, including the labeled flushable wet wipes.  

Twenty-six pumping stations move waste from homes and businesses in La Crosse to the treatment plant.  Last week, crews cleaned a big clog of wet wipes off one of those pumps.  The clog was six-feet across and six-feet thick.

“They advertise them as disposable, bio-degradable, flushable, but they’re none of the above,” said La Crosse Wastewater Superintendent Jared Greeno.  “It takes ten to 20 years potentially to break this stuff down. I understand the convenience, it has a built-in cleaner, you can wipe-down surfaces, it’s very convenient.  But it belongs in the garbage can, and not flushed into the collection system.” 

Greeno says flushing the wipes could also hurt the environment. 

The water from the treatment plant eventually ends up in the Mississippi River.