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NEW Water launches a campaign to help protect sewage pipes and the environment

Items pulled from water pipes that had been flushed in toilets are seen at NEW Water's facility in Green Bay Dec. 23, 2019.
Items pulled from water pipes that had been flushed in toilets are seen at NEW Water's facility in Green Bay Dec. 23, 2019. (WLUK/Amber Luckett)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WLUK) -- NEW Water is asking residents to think before they flush to help avoid backups in their water treatment systems.

"We have definitely seen an uptick in what we call the "un-flushables" coming to our facility. We like people to not use their toilet as a trash can and only flush the three Ps: number 1, number 2 and toilet paper," said Public Affairs & Education Manager Tricia Garrison.

Garrison said this is a problem that many water treatment facilities around the country have been dealing with, but unfortunately in the Green Bay area it's gotten worse.

"We are getting things like ramen noodle rappers, toys, sanitary products and none of these things should be thrown in the toilet, they belong in the trash," she said.

All this debris can cause back up in the equipment here at the facility, as well as your home and can also cause environmental damage.


"It's so important that we discharge clean water to the Fox River. We need to protect public health and the environment, and we can best do that when the equipment is running well," said Technical Engineer Nathan Qualls. "So when the debris is in our wastewater it causes extra break downs, problems and prohibits us from doing the best that we can."

To remind residents of these potential risks, NEW Water is launching a "flush fighters" campaign to share the message. The organization sent an ad promoting the campaign to all 15 of its municipal customers around Northeast Wisconsin.

"It's a public outreach initiative to make people aware of the issues that flushing debris down the toilet can cause and just a reminder that toilets aren't trash cans," he said.

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