KEISER, Ark. (WREG) — Enough flushable wipes to fill a five-gallon bucket almost shut down the entire sewer system in Keiser, Arkansas.
They clogged one of the town’s main sewer lines and it took workers days to unclog the line, which forced residents to cut down on water use and flush their toilets as little as possible.
A maintenance worker discovered the clog last Thursday but the town had to go through two different contractors to fix the problem, which wasn’t resolved until Monday.
Workers almost had to shut down the entire sewer system over the weekend but were thankfully able to install a bypass pump to keep things flowing until the main line could be cleared.
“The package says flushable wipes,” Mayor Rick Creecy said. “Well, it is a flushable wipe but it just doesn’t deteriorate in the system like toilet paper will.”
Keiser’s sewer system is old to begin with and needs to be replaced. The mayor estimates it’ll cost $3.5 million but he hopes to fund half of the project with grants and avoid raising taxes.
“The last thing we want to do is raise the cost to our customers, especially in the times that we have now,” Mayor Creecy said. “We’re a community of a lot of retirees on a fixed income.”
As for those wipes, he offers this warning.
“Just please, please be careful of the things that you shouldn’t put down your sewer system,” he said.
The mayor is also asking residents to not flush things like Q-tips, dental floss, and plastic products. Those items can also clog sewer lines.