City workers pulled out enough of a clog to fill a five gallon bucket. (Photo courtesy of Mike Lund)

City workers pulled out enough of a clog to fill a five gallon bucket. (Photo courtesy of Mike Lund)

“Flushable” wipes causing clogs and chaos in Poulsbo

POULSBO — With a higher number of people staying home and a shortage of toilet paper gripping the area, public works crews are spending extra time clearing so-called flushable wipes and other debris from the city’s pipes.

On Thursday, workers removed enough debris to fill a five-gallon bucket from just one of Poulsbo’s nine lift stations. Debris can clog the city’s sanitary system and damage the pumps causing backups into Liberty Bay and residents’ homes.

“This is just a maintenance nightmare,” said Poulsbo Public Works Superintendent Mike Lund.

This problem isn’t unique to Poulsbo — there are stories in local and national media outlets all across the country of cities and counties where toilet paper has been hoarded and increasingly desperate residents turn to wipes that are marketed as flushable, but do not breakdown or biodegrade like toilet paper and can get caught up in the system.

Lund said the city spends thousands of dollars each year fishing out various unflushable items and wishes to remind residents to only flush toilet paper down the toilet.

“Just because it says ‘flushable’ doesn’t mean it is,” Lund said.

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