Leitchfield Utilities is asking its customers to refrain from flushing certain items to avoid clogging discharge pumps and lines. 

In a letter released to the media, Leitchfield Wastewater Treatment Plant Chief Operator Josh Duvall writes that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, families are spending an increased amount of time inside their homes, and, as a result, water usage and sewer discharge rates have increased. 

This causes strain on utility infrastructure, especially when products that are not designed to be discarded into the sewer are disposed of in toilets inside homes and flushed into the sanitary sewer collection system, according to Duvall. 

Once inside the sewer system, the items listed below will clog discharge pumps and lines, after which operators must repair them before services can be resumed.

"This causes our operators to potentially become exposed to infection, which, in turn, risks infecting them, their families, and other loved ones with the COVID-19 virus," Duvall writes. 

As a result, Leitchfield Utilities is asking that all customers immediately refrain from flushing the following materials/items:

*Sanitary wipes (Wet Ones, baby wipes, hygienic wipes, etc.)

*"Flushable wipes," which, according to Duvall, are not actually flushable

*Fatty oils and food grease

*Paper towels

*Shop towels

*Clothing

*Facial tissues

*Feminine hygiene products

*Needles and syringes (the caps will come off and expose operators to needles)

*Rubber gloves

*Cigarette butts

*Dental floss and toothpicks

*Cat litter or animal waste

*Toys

*Pharmaceuticals/medicine

"During these trying times, we can all do a small part to keep our community safe by ensuring the well-being of our utility operators," Duvall writes. "Please discard only toilet paper and human waste to ensure that our system continues to operate without interruption."

For more information, call 270-259-4034.