Cleaning products may be affecting performance at Manchester Wastewater Treatment Plant

Microscopic exams of wastewater show pollutants including cotton fibers and polymers

The Manchester Wastewater Treatment Plant has seen a decrease in performance after microscopic exams of the wastewater showed pollutants including cotton fibers and polymers, which may have come from disinfectant wipes or cleaning products.

According to Kitsap County officials, the current water performance could have resulted from an increase in cleaning wipes use in general and wipes being flushed. Other pollutants may be from water dumped after cleaning with wipes or other disinfectants.

The Manchester Treatment Plant has been recognized for outstanding performance by the Washington State Department of Ecology for 24 years in a row, making it the only wastewater treatment plant in the state to receive the honor each year since the award’s inception.

A release from Kitsap County Sewer Utility Division urges residents to be mindful of what goes down the drain and refrain from flushing sanitizing wipes or using the toilet to dispose of harsh cleaning products. Toilet paper is the only product that is safe to flush. Wipes, even those marketed as flushable, can cause clogs in plumbing and in sewer and septic systems.