ILWACO — The city of Ilwaco has a simple request: don’t flush wipes in your home.

“It’s easy to look at a simple Wet Wipe and wonder how it could cause millions of dollars worth of damage but it’s the accumulation of them that causes the damage,” states a city of Ilwaco press release.

The city didn’t provide specifics on how much money the city has spent due to wipes being flushed. However, photos taken from the plant show large mounds of wipes clumped together.

The clumped-together wipes pose problems for the city’s wastewater management system through pipe blockages, which can only be fixed by sewage workers physically removing the wipes. The process can harm the wastewater management system, according to the press release.

Wipes may also cause problems for residents within their homes. If the wipes become tangled together, they can cause pump blockages, requiring maintenance.

“The best-case scenario is that there is a costly maintenance bill required to remove the wet wipes,” the press release states. “The worst-case scenario is that the impeller itself seizes up and breaks, requiring it to be replaced.”

Alyssa Evans is a staff writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact her at 360-642-8181 or

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