As disinfectant wipes fly off store shelves as Canadians take precautions against COVID-19. As these products do not rapidly decompose in wastewater systems, they should be disposed of in the trash.

The City of Grand Forks reminds residents that flushing material into the sanitary sewer system must be limited to items intended to the system.

The city says it’s important to know that products like disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, and paper towels do not decompose quickly and tend to clog wastewater system pumps.

Regular washing of hands is important however when a sink is not available, disinfectant wipes should be disposed of into the trash and not down toilets.

When sewer system pumps clog, workers need to manually clean the pumps and this puts them at risk of exposure to many pathogens besides the COVID-19 corona virus.