The Fountain Sanitation District has had numerous struggles with “disposable wipes” within its sanitary collection system. Although they are conveniently marked “flushable” and they can be flushed, the wipes do not break down like toilet paper. The use of disposable wipes has caused a dramatic increase in maintenance and equipment repair/replacement costs which may ultimately affect the customer monthly user charge. “It appears the demand for antibacterial wipes and the number of marketed products has a direct correlation with the increase in use and associated system problems for the District”.
The District does promote customers to avoid flushing “disposable wipes” into the sanitary sewer system, but there has been no noticeable decrease. Every resident should know the frequent use of disposable wipes may also clog their own sanitary service line, which are not maintained or the responsibility of the District.
The District’s largest pump station transfers an average 700,000 gallons of raw wastewater daily. Annual maintenance and repair/replacement costs on this pump station alone are $100,000. The installation of upgraded chopper pumps has helped with blockages however all equipment has limitations. All pump components such as the cutting bars are continuously checked, adjusted and eventually replaced. [Attached are some pictures of the problems incurred with disposable wipes.