Weird stuff getting flushed in Snoqualmie neighborhood

Mop heads, baby wipes don’t belong down the drain

The city of Snoqualmie’s Public Works Department has been getting to the bottom of some gross and puzzling problems recently in the sewer pipes of Snoqualmie Ridge.

In recent weeks, the city has responded several times to fix clogs in the Ridge sewer pumps. Someone’s been flushing things they shouldn’t have been: tough paper baby wipes and full cotton mop heads.

Public works employees have already pulled about five mop heads out of the pipes, and will be sending out a mailer and possibly going door to door to make sure Ridge residents are only flushing what they’re supposed to.

“It blows us away,” said Snoqualmie Public Works Director Kirk Holmes, who said public works crews aren’t sure why the clogs keep occuring. Holmes speculated that perhaps a young child is flushing the items, but he’s stumped as to how they’re making their way down at all, given the fact that low flow toilets are the rule on the Ridge.

“We’re all a little puzzled,” Holmes said.

So far, public works crews have caught the jams before they caused any sewage to hit the streets.

“It’s not a good thing” when a spill happens, Holmes said. Spills trigger an automatic response from the Department of Ecology.

A city mailer going out in the next few days will let residents know what they can and cannot flush away.

“If it continues to be a problem after the mailing, we are going to be more aggressive,” Holmes said. City staff might go knocking in Ridge neighborhoods and talk to residents, face to face.

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