Personal protective equipment (PPE) has become a ubiquitous part of our world over the last year, but it is reportedly causing problems as well as solving them.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has apparently been a notable increase in PPE being flushed down toilets, according to AQUALIS, a provider of stormwater and lift station management services.
The company says flushed PPE items like face masks, gloves, and sanitizing wipes have been creating blockages in underground sanitary infrastructure, particularly being dumped into lift stations and pump stations.
AQUALIS notes that during the height of public concern in May 2020, a new state-of-the-art lift station in El Paso, Texas, had to be cleared over 20 times in 24 hours due to the continuous disposal of PPE in the sanitary system.
Commercial facilities that are seeing the highest rates of flushed PPE include healthcare facilities, retailers, and restaurants, according to AQUALIS.
There are certain steps that facility managers can take to help prevent backups, clogs, and flooding due to flushed PPE: