Consumer response to the COVID-19 pandemic is causing problems for one local utility in Kentucky.
An increase in the improper disposal of paper and other cleaning materials is taxing the water filtration system at Bowling Green Municipal Utilities.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, BGMU officials are reporting that the utility is seeing an increase of wipes, rags and other products improperly flushed into the wastewater pump stations.
Systems Manager Mike Gardner is asking the public to be aware that the increased waste can cause pipes to overflow into homes and public spaces, as well as causing serious damage to costly treatment pumps.
He said crews are working full-time to mitigate the problem and that takes them away from routine maintenance.
Gardner is reminding utility customers that toilets are not trash cans and encourages people to dispose of wipes and paper toweling in a separate container. He said some wipes are marketed as flushable, but they can get hung up in underground lines.
BGMU serves approximately 20,000 water and wastewater customers.
You can view Barbara Deeb's video interivew with the BGMU Water and Wastewater Manager here, in a "Coffee Near Me" segment done by WKU Public Broadcasting.