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VIWMA Asks Residents Not To Flush Sanitary Wipes Down The Toilet

CHRISTIANSTED — The Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) asked all residents to only flush toilet paper down the drain.

“Do not flush disinfecting wipes nor other non-flushable items,” VIWMA spokeswoman Melody Rames said. “Always dispose of non-flushable items in the trash.”

While the CDC and WHO continues to encourage disinfecting surfaces in your home and workplace to prevent the spread of COVID-19, never flush disinfecting or other wipes down the toilet.

“Disinfecting surfaces will prevent the spread of COVID
and placing used wipes in the trash shall keep the Virgin Islands wastewater collection systems free from blockages,” according to Rames.

Toilet and sewer backups are an environmental hazard and can pose a threat to human health, VIWMA said. Backups and overflows onto our public streets are a challenge to the dedicated VIWMA employees.

“Baby wipes, food, hair, grease and oil; these items can damage your homes’ internal plumbing and septic systems along with the territory’s sewer lines, wastewater pump stations and treatment facilities,” Rames explained. “Addressing these backups and overflows cost the Authority up to a half-million dollars annually, as well as diverts resources away from preventative maintenance.”

The VIWMA said it thanks its “dedicated essential employees; having an operational wastewater collection and treatment system is critical to preserving resident’s public health.”

VIWMA said it commends their wastewater and solid waste employees, including contractors who “are everyday heroes on the front line of protecting human health and the environment.”

When you see our essential workers performing their jobs throughout the community, please acknowledge their contributions.

A kind word of appreciation makes a difference, as always please remember to practice social distancing.

For more information, contact communications management at (340) 643-0410 or email

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