HOPKINTON (CBS) — DPW commissioners across Massachusetts have been warning people not to flush sanitizing wipes down the toilet. Some brands say they are flushable, but photographs of sewer pump clogs in Hopkinton shows that is not the case.

Two clogged sewer pumps in Hopkinton (Photo credit: Stacey Scott from Scott Septic)

The town’s DPW director, Eric Carty, told WBZ-TV that the sewer system is being strained by heavier use of so-called flushable wipes. Some people are flushing them because toilet paper has been scarce on the shelves during the coronavirus pandemic.

“They cause severe issues with the sewer systems,” he said. “They bind together and it ends up being a big ball of the wipes that will clog up our sewer pumps.”

Last week two Hopkinton pumps clogged at the same time. Carty said the town had to call pump trucks that were out until 3 a.m. trying to get the system up and running.

The danger is that these clogs could start causing backups that make a mess in people’s homes.

“Even though they say flushable, they’re really not,” Carty said. “Toilet paper is the only thing that should be flushed down the toilet.”

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