Beloit sewer system seeing more backups with residents staying home

All the extra time at home this spring hasn’t been good for the city of Beloit’s sewer system.

Director of Water Resources Bill Frisbee said the wastewater staff is seeing more blockages caused by so-called “flushable” wipes, which do not break up in the pipe system like toilet paper.

Normally, the wipes tend to cause backups into residents’ homes from their lateral pipes, but Frisbee said they’re starting to see the wipes make it to the main, which tells them a lot more are being flushed.

One potential factor was the earlier shortage in toilet paper, which may have led residents to use more wipes or other materials instead.

He emphasizes that toilet paper is the only thing besides human waste that should be flushed down a toilet.

The water department is also seeing more sewer backups from residents pouring grease down their drains. Frisbee thinks that too could be from more people staying home and cooking.

He recommends pouring used grease into a can or jar, waiting for it to harden and throwing it away in the trash.