City of West Fargo Public Works reminds community toilet paper is only flushable material


The City of West Fargo Public Works Department wants to remind the public to “be nice to our pipes” after a rise in wipes, rags and other materials have caused damage to the City’s sewer system. In all buildings, only toilet paper is appropriate to flush.

“The rags could cause a blockage in one of our sewer mains and cause a break, or cause a pump to burn out, which could be tens of thousands of dollars to fix and causes stress to the rest of the system,” Public Works Director Matt Andvik said. “If a lift station goes down there is also a chance for back up in residents’ houses.”

While crews respond to lift station alarm as quickly as possible, the majority of plugged sewer lines become obvious when residents report sewage backups in their home. Generally, a homeowner’s sewer service is a smaller diameter than sewer mains. Flushing anything that is not meant for the service puts the house at a high risk of a blockage and sewer backup. According to Andvik, a pipe repair could cost a homeowner between $500 and $15,000, depending on the damage.  

“We are just going to keep reminding the community that the only material meant to be flushed is toilet paper,” said Andvik. “Even if the product is labeled as flushable, if it’s not toilet paper it shouldn’t flush.”