Used paper towels and wipes belong in the trash, not the toilet.

That’s the message from the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management as it aims to prevent clogged and broken pipes during increased wipe use in the coronavirus pandemic.

The department says that toilet paper shortages in stores are leading to the use of paper towels and wipes as alternatives. Disinfectant wipes are also popular now. None of them belong in the toilet — even those branded as “flushable” — because they do not fall apart like toilet paper and can jam sewer pipes.

Backed-up or leaking sewer pipes are a public health hazard of their own.

“We want to eliminate any other potential public health threats, especially during this COVID-19 crisis,” said DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond in a press release.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.