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The Costs Of Flushable Wipes

“The truth of the matter is, ‘flushable’ wipes are clogging sewers across Canada, US and beyond and are costing Canadian ratepayers at least $250 million a year. While these products and personal wipes may swirl down the toilet with ease, they don’t disintegrate, creating serious problems as they work their way through aging sewer systems on their way to treatment plants.”

Liberty Commons Condominium Trust prohibits flushing flushable wipes, cleaning wipes, dental floss, and other products into toilets and our private sewer infrastructure. In 2016, we experienced a complete failure of Liberty Commons’ private sewer pump station for two very tense days where we had to pump 14,500± gallons of human waste from the sewer infrastructure, truck it away at an additional cost to all of us, and had to purchased two new submersible sewer pumps at a cost of around $18,000-$20,000. Please refer to: Sewer Pump Station — Lessons Learned and the following Rule and Regulation was added:

“No Unit Owner, occupant, resident, or visitor shall dispose of any of the following items, including, but not limited to: cat or kitty litter, chemicals, cigarette butts, clothes dryer sheets, coffee grounds, condoms, cotton swabs, dental floss, diapers (i.e., disposable or otherwise), underpants, panty liners, or other cloth items, dirt, disposable wipes (i.e., baby, cleaning, etc.), fingernails and toenails, grease or oils, paper towels and facial tissues, plastic bags, prescription or non-prescription drugs or medicines, sanitary napkins or tampons, toys, trash or scraps, and alike down the drains or flushed through the toilets, as these items may cause significant damage to the plumbing, sewer infrastructure, and the sewer pump station and may cause significant damages and expenses to all Unit Owners. Items marketed as “flushable” and/or similar marketing terms, are not flushable at Liberty Commons.”

There is a thoughtful process behind what Liberty Commons’ Board of Trustees implements and does. Most often, new Rules and Regulations, processes or procedures are to reduce liabilities (health, safety, and/or liability), to comply with laws, regulations, ordinances, and/or insurance requirements, and/or to promote “common sense” and harmony. It is not always apparent to all Unit Owners or Non-Owner Residents, however, if you ask probing questions to the Managing Agent or Board of Trustees, you might learn that there are good reasons behind our decisions and the majority tend to understand.

A single person’s actions (or inactions) could cost all Unit Owners a lot of headaches and money. Liberty Commons is not 132 single-family homes where individuals can do whatever they choose to, as we are all tied together financially as a condominium association. Please consider the big picture, as Liberty Commons’ Board of Trustees and Managing Agent do each and every day with all the decisions we make on everyone’s behalf and to the benefits of the majority. Liberty Commons’ Board of Trustees have a fiduciary obligation and responsibility to all Unit Owners, and that unfortunately means sometimes an individual or a small group have to hear the word “no,” and it is clear certain individuals don’t like that too much. As our attorney explained at the Annual Meeting, when you purchase [or live in] a condominium, you give up certain rights for the benefits of a condominium (i.e., maintenance, repairs, shared costs of expensive, etc.).

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