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KC Water Reminds Customers to Not Flush Wipes

Posted on March 13, 2020

(Kansas City, MO) – KC Water reminds customers as they stock up on cleaning wipes and “flushables” to not discard them into the toilet. Manufacturers market these products as “flushable” but they do not break down in water.

KC Water’s wastewater treatment plants use equipment to pull plastics, wipes and other items that should not be flushed, out of the wastewater and into the trash before treatment.

The items are removed and placed in a dumpster. The wastewater is treated and returned to the Missouri River cleaner than it was before we removed it from the river to begin the treatment process. Sometimes the equipment can be become clogged, or even damaged by excessive wipes and trash.

“They are marketed as flushable but they won’t dissolve and the only thing we want down the toilet are the three P’s…pee, poop, and paper, toilet paper. They all dissolve in the water which what the treatment plant was built for. The plastics and the wipes, wipes are actually a felt material and they never break down just like plastic. They stay in the environment forever,” said Division Engineer for Wastewater Treatment Shaun O’Kelley.

Clogged wipes can also cause plumbing problems in homes and back-ups in KC Water’s sewer lines. A recent blockage of debris, which included wipes and gloves, caused a sewer manhole on W. 71st Terrace to overflow which resulted in 28,000 gallons of wastewater overflow.

For more information contact Heather Frierson, KC Water Media Relations Coordinator, at 816-513-0280, cell 816-674-0211.


KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area. KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.

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