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The Public Advised to NOT Flush Disinfecting Wipes, Paper Towels down Toilet – Throw Them Away instead 

State’s Wastewater Treatment Plants May get Overwhelmed, 

Consumers may face In-home Plumbing backups and Blockages 

SACRAMENTO – While the State Water Board and other public agencies encourage Californians to follow the Centers for Disease Control recommendations to clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is important to discard those items in the trash, not the toilet. 

Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Even wipes labeled 
“flushable” will clog pipes and interfere with sewage collection and treatment throughout the state.  

Wastewater treatment facilities around the state already are reporting issues with their sewer management collection systems. These facilities are asking state residents to not discard wipes in the toilet, but instead to throw them in the trash to avoid backups and overflow. A majority of urban centers are on centralized sewage collection systems depend on gravity and enough water flow to move along human waste and biodegrable toilet paper. The systems were not designed for individual nylon wipes and paper towels. The wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and therefore clog systems very quickly. 
Wipes are among the leading causes of sewer system backups, impacting sewer system and treatment plant pumps and treatment systems. Many spills go to our lakes, rivers, and oceans where they have broad ranging impacts on public-health and the environment. Preventing sewer spills is important, especially during this COVID-19 emergency, for the protection of public health and the environment.  

Please do not flush disinfectant wipes or paper towels down the toilet. 

What does “Shelter at Home” mean to you and your SLO business?

Post Date:03/19/2020 6:42 PM

What does “Shelter at Home” mean to you and your SLO business?

Stay home except for essential needs

 As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise throughout the world and in our region, the City of San Luis Obispo is joining with the County to take additional action to protect our community and our most vulnerable through the Shelter at Home Order.

“Using the term shelter at home is to ask people to help slow the spread of infection and is an enhancement of social distancing,” says County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein, “It does not literally mean that people should not leave their homes for essential activities or fresh air and exercise.” The Order is intended to limit activity, travel, and business functions to the most basic and essential needs. The 6-foot social distancing requirements should be followed at all times.

People are asked to avoid gatherings outside of their homes and beyond their immediate families. The Order does not prohibit people from going for walks, hikes, or runs; going surfing; attending medical, dental, or veterinary appointments (please call your provider first); going to the grocery store or pharmacy; getting take-out and delivery from restaurants; gardening, or doing yardwork. However, group gatherings must be avoided to limit the spread of this disease. Governor Newsom issued a state-wide Shelter at Home Order on March 19, and the County order is in compliance with this mandate.

The County’s order is in effect until April 17, 2020 and will be reevaluated every two weeks. We are asking for your cooperation during this time. By working together, we will get through this. We encourage you to call, text, or video chat your friends, families, and neighbors. We encourage you to call and check on your elderly friends, families, and neighbors, especially those who may be self-isolating.

Please see the information below for more details for residents and businesses:

List of Essential Services for Shelter at Home

 st of Essential Services for Shelter at Home




We care about our community and our businesses! We encourage all our community members to continue to support businesses throughout the City during this difficult time. For more information on what you can do, please visit

If you are unsure if your SLO business is essential or if you need further clarification on your operations, please complete this online request form. The City and County will review and get right back to you as soon as possible.

Remember, we are all in this together and we all must do our part!

More information about COVID-19 and the Shelter at Home Order is available at You may also call the staffed Phone Assistance Center at (805) 543-2444; we are available to answer your questions Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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