Lake City blames wipes for backing up sewer system

Lake City blames wipes for backing up sewer system

LAKE CITY, AR (KAIT) - One Region 8 city is asking citizens to check the label before flushing wipes down the toilet.

Lake City Mayor Jon Milligan said for years the city has had problems with non-biodegradable wipes clogging the city sewer system.

"They get in the sewer system and don't deteriorate and they get into the pipes and motors that pump the sewage. The wipes clog them up and burn them up," Milligan said.

Milligan said not only do these wipes back up toilets and the sewer system, but the fix can also be very costly.

"You're looking at another pump. You're looking at time and a half for two guys. I haven't put a pencil to it exactly, but it is a big expense," Milligan said. "You're looking anywhere from $700 to $1,500 per motor depending on the system and it is an expense that can be avoided."

Milligan said he would rather put the taxpayers' dollars to something else, instead of an issue that can easily be avoided.

He said they have tried to improve the pumps, but the best way to fix the problem is either throw away the wipes or make sure they are biodegradable before flushing them.

"We even bought some grinder pumps to put in certain places that are supposed to take care of this and that won't even take care of it. The wipes just build up and build up," Milligan said.

Several other cities deal with this issue, especially bigger cities.

"Every city has trouble with this, it is a big expense nationwide," Milligan said.

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