(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Sylvan Lakers reminded to only flush the 3P’s – pee, poop and toilet paper

“Flushable” products purchased in place of toilet paper during product shortages are not meant to be

The Town of Sylvan Lake is reminding residents not to flush anything outside of the 3P’s — pee, poop and toilet paper.

Kevin Gannon, environmental services manager with the Town of Sylvan Lake, says just because a retailer labels a product as able to be flushed doesn’t mean it is.

“It may mean that it has the ability to be flushed, but it’s not its purpose,” said Gannon.

In wake of the recent toilet paper shortage spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible people are using other products, such as “flushable” wipes or paper towel, in order to stay sanitary and clean.

“Toilet paper is the only thing that should be used to be flushed afterwards,” Gannon explained. “If you have to make sure it’s not a cloth-type material, make sure it’s something that’s a little bit easier to break down.”

This will allow the treatment facilities, or pumps, have a chance to try to send the products upstream where hopefully it can get filtered out with minimal impact on the system.

Any clogs or problems with the system could potentially increase utility rates as it takes maintenance and management if items that can’t be flushed, such as these wipes, paper towel and feminine hygiene products, get sent down the toilet.

The concern over different products being flushed through the systems is something the industry has been seeing for years, said Gannon.

Throughout his career, Gannon says, he’s seen all types of items being flushed ranging from toys to remotes.

“That seems to be some of the mentality with individuals, they believe that as long as it can go through their system then it’s OK, but that’s not the case.”

Many municipalities are trying to get residents to understand the impacts they have individually on the utility system with Vancouver going as far as using mascots.

Gannon says everybody is trying to get the education out there and the Town is hoping to do a better job of it this year.

“… because of this emergency we’re trying to get the word out there that everything that goes down the pipe could potentially plug your system, plug ours and then we’re facing larger consequences and facing an emergency within an emergency,” he added.

He says medication has been historically problematic in terms of getting flushed and should always be returned to a pharmacy for disposal.

When flushed it goes into the treatment facility, treated and then sent back out into the water supply.

“The water gets released back into the river and that medication does not break down and it goes into the water system.”

Additionally, he says, the system is developed to properly treat the water from your dishes, but not grease.

Gannon said the substance should not be flushed down your system, whether it be through the drain in the sink or the toilet, as it could plug you system all the way to their system.

Having to go out and do regular flushing programs of the sewer mains would also lead to increased costs.

He says the grease should be disposed of in your garbage with the yard and kitchen waste program.

Sylvan Lake runs on well water and licenses ensure the Town only uses a certain amount of water per well. The licence makes sure stays within the parameters of how much can be pulled each day, month and year, as well as ensuring the reservoir is up to its proper level to be able to handle emergencies such as fires.

Even with everyone at home, according to Gannon, there has only been a minimal increase in water usage in town.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UCP MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka Ron Orr. (File photo)
MLA Ron Orr: Benchmarks were achieved but goalposts were moved

Orr responds to concerns, calls on province to fully open Step 2

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

(Black Press file photo)
Blackfalds continuing its fight for a registries office

The Town of Blackfalds has been fighting for a Registry Service outlet for roughly a decade

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

hands
The call is out in Rimbey to sign on with a group that is all about building connections

‘Already, we are building a network where we can rely on each other and help each other out’

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Many rural seniors are having to travel a long way to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Stettler residents are being told to go to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose. (Black Press file photo).
Rural central Alberta seniors have to travel far to get vaccines

Stettler residents are being directed to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose clinics

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. Photo contributed
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Calgary police say they received 80 hate crime complaints between January and November 2020. (Pixabay)
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Muslim women fearful following attacks in Edmonton

So far in 2021, three of seven hate-crime-related investigations have involved Somali-Muslim women

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro speaks during a news conference in Calgary on May 29, 2020. Shandro says Alberta is considering whether to extend the time between COVID-19 vaccine shots to four months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta may follow B.C.’s lead on faster rollout of first COVID-19 dose

Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming

Most Read