Water and Sewer Superintendent Joel Felix at the Cordova Wastewater Treatment Plant on April 15, 2021. File photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith for The Cordova Times

In the wake of reported blockage to the city’s sewer pipes and drains, last week the City of Cordova issued a call to action for residents: Do not flush what shouldn’t be flushed.  

The municipality reported clogging at Whiskey Ridge Lift Station on April 4, and warned residents that such blockage could result in “costly repairs” for taxpayers. The buildup is attributed to items such as wet wipes, cleaning wipes, baby wipes, pads, tampons, paper towels, tissues, cotton swabs, and dental floss.  

“Our sewage systems and treatment facilities are not designed to handle wipes,” the city said. “With ongoing misuse and clogging, maintenance costs and damages escalate. Consequently, taxpayers and residents risk facing higher maintenance expenses and utility fees.”  

According to the City of Cordova, the blockage at Whiskey Ridge Lift Station has happened “repeatedly,” and caused not only malfunctions to the equipment — but also added costs and late-night calls to staff to address issues. The municipality said it is now considering investing in a new pump for the station “to prevent further damage.” In its 2019 budget, the City of Cordova outlined that Whiskey Ridge Lift Station pump repair would cost a total of $4,000.  

“This is just one example among numerous incidents and situations where non-flushable materials have led to expensive repairs and consumed employee time,” the city said.  

To be a part of the solution, the City of Cordova is calling on residents to properly dispose of non-flushable items and wipes in the garbage. The municipality says attentive disposal will reduce maintenance costs for the city, minimize personal utility changes, protect the environment, and ensure “the smooth operation of our sewer system.”