Careful What You’re Flushing Down The Toilet 

Just because a product says it’s safe to flush down the toilet, that doesn’t mean it is. A Waterville landlord says people putting the wrong things in their toilets are causing major problems.Sherwood Booker owns Brownhouse Properties and rents apartments to more than 200 tenants in the greater Waterville area.Booker says he’s been flooded with calls from tenants about sewer pipes becoming clogged. He says the problem is getting out of hand. “I think it’s getting bigger because a lot of the people are using heavier wipes and it says flushable on the package so in the flush they go,” Booker says. Booker says his tenants get a copy of this letter that offers several examples of what not to flush. Baby wipes are one of the major culprits. “If there’s anything in that pipe that will snag one, the next thing you know you’ve got three or four feet of them compacted in the pipe and then i call Jack and Jack remedies the problem for me,” says Booker.”Jack” is Jack Stanley of Stanley’s Septic Tank Service. It costs Booker anywhere from $2000-$7000 out his pocket each time this happens. “Well we come out first and try to snake it out and then if we can’t snake it out we have to excavate and that’s when it gets costly,” says Stanley.You might think a problem like this would be good for Stanley’s business, but he says it’s causing more of a headache than it’s worth. “Yeah it will create some income with sewer work, but on the other end when we clean septic tanks, it’s more of a nuisance because it keeps plugging up the hoses,” he says, “then when we go to discharge, they plug up the grates. It helps out on one hand, but then it hampers on the other.”Stanley says local municipalities are also having problems with these items plugging up their pump stations. Both Booker and Stanley urge people to follow one simple rule. “We recommend nothing but paper that goes down the toilet.”