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Reminder: Only Waste, Water and Toilet Paper Should be Flushed

Thursday, March 19, 2020
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The town is able to provide emergency toilet paper to water and sewer customers if needed.

The Town of Hillsborough is reminding utility customers to put only water, waste and toilet paper into toilets and down drains to avoid damage to the town’s sewer system.

In light of potential toilet paper shortages due to the COVID-19 outbreak, citizens are reminded that other types of paper products, as well as personal hygiene products labeled as flushable or safe for sewer or septic systems, do not dissolve. They clog sewer lines and can damage sewer pumps and other equipment.

Many people choose to wash with water rather than use toilet paper, and town Utilities Infrastructure Protection Supervisor Troy Miller is able to provide emergency toilet paper to water and sewer customers if needed. He can be contacted by email or at 919-732-9459.

Effects of using wipes

Workers in the town’s Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Division spend significant time removing clogs from the town’s 24 sewage pumping stations. If a pump is damaged to the point of needing replacement, the work can take much longer. Sewer blockages can severely damage a pump, with a replacement costing between $1,500 and $15,000 depending on the size.

In addition to the damage to utility infrastructure, clogged pumping stations can cause sewage overflows, contaminating the environment and potentially leading to regulatory fines for the town.

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