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Recently, employees of Red Deer County and Epcor have found increased amounts of deleterious materials being caught in local wastewater pumps. These materials are not meant to be flushed, and can cause potential backup into homes, due to pumps being plugged and not working effectively.The cost to remove pumps and clean them, as well as the flushing of the system to clean the remaining debris from the system is approximately $5500.00 after each event. These additional costs could result in higher utility rates for residents. Below is some information for residents on what can and cannot be flushed down your drains.PRODUCTS THAT ARE BAD FOR YOUR SEWER PIPES*Dental floss can get wrapped around the backflow valve in the sanitary sewer pipe, resulting in raw sewage backing up into your home.*Baby wipes, cleaning wipes, disposable diapers and cotton swabs. These products are not “flushable”, despite what labels on the packaging may read, and can quickly clog up a sewer pipe and wastewater pumps.*Cooking fats, oils and grease. Fats, oils and grease cannot be broken down by flushing with hot water and soap. They will clog your pipes.PRODUCTS THAT ARE BAD FOR YOUR LOCAL WATERSHEDWastewater treatment facilities aren’t designed to remove most medicines, personal care products or household hazardous wastes. Because of this, some products may get returned untreated into our lakes and rivers.Anything that is washed or poured into grates at the side of the street will wind up flowing through the storm water system into our lakes and rivers. Storm water doesn’t receive any treatment.Epcor and Red Deer County would like to thank you for your assistance in keeping our water infrastructure in good working order.