WILLIAMSON — The City of Williamson is asking residents to avoid flushing sanitation wipes, even if the package states they are flushable, according to a news release.

Alternatives to toilet paper including paper towels and facial tissues should not be flushed in local sewer lines as people practice guidelines to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

While the “flushable” wipes concern is not new to wastewater facilities, there is an increased risk to the system due to a current shortage of toilet paper.

The city is working closely with Veolia North America, which operates and maintains the wastewater treatment plant and collection system, to educate people about the need to avoid flushing inappropriate items down their toilets.

“Although many so-called ‘disposable’ hand wipes are advertised as being safe for flushing, in reality they can cause backups in the system and contribute to buildup of foreign materials,” the release said. “In some cases, they can attach to buildups of grease in the system and create large blockages called ‘fatbergs.’ ”

Here are more guidelines to avoid backups in the local sewer lines:

  • Do not flush wipes, gloves, towels, napkins or other trash down the toilet, even if they’re labeled flushable.
  • Do not pour grease down kitchen sinks or toilets. Instead, put grease in a sealed non-recyclable container and throw it out with regular garbage.
  • Toss dirty baby, makeup and cleaning wipes, tampons, sanitary pads and condoms in the trash.
  • Do not use the sink as a toilet or the toilet as a garbage disposal.
  • Recycle finished toilet rolls, cardboard packaging from toothpaste and brushes and plastic packaging from shampoos and shower gels.

For more information, call 304-235-1510.