Flushed Away: A pair of sweatpants caused a major sewer clog in the Lower Mainland

Jan 12 2023, 10:24 pm

Wintertime is made for lounging around in comfy sweatpants, but a pair ended up down the drain over the holidays and caused a big headache for a Fraser Valley city.

The City of Mission revealed this week that a Public Works crew found a pair of sweatpants had caused a major clog in one of the city’s sewers.

According to the City, the likely cause was someone flushing the pants right down the toilet.

The Public Works crew removed the potty pantaloons and repaired the damage. However, the City of Mission also used the incident to remind everyone that the only things that should be flushed are toilet paper, poo, and pee.

“Our collection system, pipes, and wastewater treatment plant run best when processing what they are intended for,” said Colin McLean, operations manager – utilities, in a release. “This is a friendly reminder to stay sewer savvy for the good of our system. This will ensure everyone in the community continues to receive optimal sewer service at all times.”

City of Mission Public Works

City of Mission Public Works/mission.ca

City of Mission’s Public Works crews have unclogged many items from the sewer system over the years, including food wrappers, diapers, sanitary products, and food scraps.

Even items labelled “flushable” can damage a city’s collection system and wastewater treatment plant, resulting in costly repairs.

The city also published a list of items that should not be flushed or put down the drain. They include:

  • baby wipes
  • “flushable” wipes
  • feminine hygiene products
  • bandages and wrappers
  • condoms and wrappers
  • cotton balls
  • swabs and Q-tips
  • dental floss
  • hair
  • diapers
  • facial tissue
  • hypodermic needles
  • medications
  • vitamins
  • supplements
  • cat litter
  • chemicals and solvents
  • cigarette butts
  • food scraps
  • coffee grounds
  • disposable duster heads
  • fruit stickers
  • fats, oil, and grease
  • paint
  • paper towels

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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