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The facility responsible for waste water and sewage treatment in central Israel reported last weekend that an unusual amount of wipes were flushed down the toilets in central Israel – so many, in fact, that they caused a huge blockage at the Ayalon pumping station.

Workers had to work around the clock to wrestle with the blockage in the system, according to a report Israel’s Channel 12 television news.

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About 10 tons of wipes were flushed down the toilets in Tel Aviv, Givatyaim, Rosh Ha’Ayim, Kafr Kassem and some 20 other local communities – adding up to a total of about 2.5 million residents.

“Wipes are comprised of a chemical feature that because of the fats and other sticky material in the sewers, they stick to one another and form large chunks,” said Amir Shalev, manager of the pumping stations. “The wipes are not biodegradable at all, and form huge clumps. They get stuck in the systems and pumps, and they clog the lines, which costs a lot of money to fix.”

The damage caused by the wipes is estimated at millions of shekels each year due to the need to replace filters and pumps in the drainage systems. “All this can be easily avoided by throwing the wipes in the bin. Literally,” said Shalev.

Ayalon Station receives about 4,000 cubic meters of sewage per hour, according to the report.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.