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Back It Up Help Sought In Keeping City's Sewers Clear
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Sewer backups and overflows are becoming a concern in the City of Riverbank, which is why officials are now asking for residents' help when it comes to disposing of non-flushable items in the bathroom.

If the item is not biodegradable, said a Public Works representative, put it in the trash rather than the toilet.

Information released by the Public Works Department reads: Please do not flush down the toilet the following items: Swiffer dusters, cleaning wipes, rags, paper towels, diapers, baby wipes or sanitary napkins.

Non-flushable items, particularly the Swiffer dusters, are a direct cause of the recent problems city employees have experienced in the Crossroads and Safreno Park areas, noted officials.

Swiffer dusters plus some types of paper towels contain nylon and fibrous materials that get into and clog the impellers in the lift station pumps, said Public Works Director Dave Melilli.

Besides the time and energy Public Works employees spend clearing the pumps, state authorities monitor sewage spills and can impose sanctions and fines.

It is not just a matter of sewage clogging old and narrow pipes, the problem with non biodegradable materials has been increasing for a while and spreading citywide, Melilli said, and it is time residents started helping tackle the problem.

Disposing of non-flushable trash in the toilet causes blockages in private pipes as well as the public sewer system. Sewer backups and overflows can be a health hazard, damage personal property, and threaten the environment.

Residents are asked to do their part in putting trash in the garbage and not in the toilet.

Residents who have a cleaning service are also asked to share the information with them.