Toilet paper shortages blamed for spike in raw sewage spills

When a foul-smelling slop began bubbling out of a manhole in Tiburon the other day, the leafy streets of Marin County became an unlikely spot for what may be the latest fallout from the coronavirus: sewage spills.

The shortage of toilet paper that’s come with the pandemic-induced shopping panic has prompted many people to get creative on the commode. They’re flushing the likes of disposable wipes and paper towels into sewer lines, wastewater officials say, and creating blockages that are leading to messy system overflows.

“I’m sure it’s happening all across the state,” said Tony Rubio, district manager of Sanitary District 5 of Marin, where crews rushed to Mar East Street along San Francisco Bay in Tiburon on Sunday to clean up 100 gallons of wastewater on the road. “It’s not a maintenance problem we normally have to deal with.”

A day later, though, his crews were back at it, unclogging a sewer pumping station on nearby Paradise Drive. Also on Monday, neighboring Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District in San Rafael was trying to contain 550 gallons of wastewater pouring onto Professional Center Parkway east of Highway 101. The culprit in each of these cases, the districts say, was a system blockage caused by something that shouldn’t have been there. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle


  1. Pretty soon all of California will smell like Pelosi’s “Poop City”!

  2. Boris Badenov says

    Speaking from first hand experience…those damn ‘flushable’ wipes ARE NOT FLUSHABLE. Yes they flush but they take FOREVER to degrade.

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