ROCKWALL COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – You’ve seen the lines at big-box stores and grocers, fears over the new coronavirus has resulted in a shopping frenzy and caused a temporary toilet paper shortage. Now that shortage has caused a ripple effect — going all the way to city sewer systems.

With the insufficient supply of bathroom paper products more North Texans are buying flushable wipes, baby wipes and other self care paper products. The problem is the so-called flushable wipes and other products are causing problems in sanitary sewer systems.

(credit: City of Rockwall)

Officials in Rockwall say they had to remove a massive clog from a lift station that pumps wastewater to a treatment plant. The blockage [partially shown in the picture above] was made up of about 80% flushable wipes combined with twigs, sticks, a plastic soda bottle, feminine hygiene products, and even a pair of underwear.

Workers say similar clogs and blockages are becoming far too frequent and are taking a toll on sewer systems.

In a statement, Rockwall officials said the clogs –

“… require the City’s wastewater crews to shut down the pumps and manually remove the blockages in order to prevent wastewater from backing up into houses, businesses, and the environment. Removing these blockages can be not only time consuming, but costly to the City.”

Residents are being asked to be mindful everyday, but especially now, that Items like flushable wipes, paper towels, cotton swabs, hair, trash, debris, and hygiene products can cause debilitating sewer blockages. With that in mind, Texans need to be mindful of the items they’re flushing.