New Paltz mayor warns residents against flushing sanitary pads, wipes

“Only flush the four Ps: poop, pee, paper and puke.” That’s the message from New Paltz village mayor Tim Rogers. Undaunted public works employees cleared the third “fatberg” from the municipal sewer system since the pandemic shutdown began in March.

“Always toss paper towels, dental floss, tampons, sanitary pads, condoms and all wipes (baby, makeup and cleaning) even if they’re labeled ‘flushable’ in the trash,” the mayor advised.

The term “fatberg,” which came into prominence in the last decade, is defined in Wikipedia as “a congealed mass in a sewer system formed by the combination of flushed non-biodegradable solid matter, such as wet wipes, and congealed grease or cooking fat.”


According to what Rogers posted to the mayoral Facebook page, “Disinfectant wipes and paper towels are being found clogging sewer mains” since fears over spreading this novel coronavirus emerged. These are not items which can be safely flushed away using any municipal or private sewage or septic system.”

In his May 6 post, Rogers wrote, “Today’s break occurred above the rail-trail and Main Street intersection where wipes and paper towels were found blocking the sewer main.” A temporary line and pump has been installed to stop the poop and pee from flowing directly into the Wallkill River.

On May 7, Main Street was dug up so the broken sewer pipe could be replaced.

There are 2 comments

  1. Slim Whitman

    In the 1899 (eighteen-99) local newspaper, it was reported that the Van Steenburgen’s sewer-pipe, which emptied directly into the river by the bridge on the south-side) was in repair by the Village. Since that century, the last one and now this one, water still seeks its own level. What is required is a second sewer plant on the other side of Main Street.

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