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Twin Falls suspends water disconnections during the coronavirus shutdown
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Twin Falls suspends water disconnections during the coronavirus shutdown

City Council confronts COVID-19 pandemic

The city council convenes in-person and by phone Monday morning, March 23, 2020, at City Hall in downtown Twin Falls. Many small business owners and city staff, including the Chief of Police and Fire Chief sat in attendance. The city unanimously passed a Declaration of a State of Emergency.

TWIN FALLS — City leaders say municipal services will not be suspended for nonpayment during the statewide stay-home order from the governor.

Numerous residential water accounts are past due, which strains the whole system, Twin Falls spokesman Joshua Palmer said Thursday. But the city is willing to work with municipal customers to keep their water flowing.

“We’re encouraging customers to make payments as they can, so they can avoid falling behind on utility billing,” City Manager Travis Rothweiler said through Palmer. “Customers who feel they cannot make their utility payment should contact us — whether online or by phone — to arrange a payment plan.”

Public services are available on the city website at tfid.org or by calling 208-735-7250 and scheduling an appointment.

In other news, false claims are circulating about the safety of the water system, Palmer said.

“We heard from a few citizens who said they read on social media that drinking water was also at risk and that people should buy bottled water to be safe,” he said. “Our system pulls water directly from the aquifer wells and it’s an enclosed system.”

Some residents may buy bottled water for specific health reasons, he said, but the city encourages others to save money and the landfill by using tap water.

Lastly, disinfecting wipes used to fight the spread of the new Coronavirus should not be flushed down toilets, Palmer said. Wipes should be discarded in trash cans instead.

“Continually flushing disinfectant wipes down toilets can cause blockage in homes and damage the city sewer system,” he said. “The city of Twin Falls, like many cities in the United States, use centralized sewage collection systems that rely on gravity and water flow to move waste.

“Toilet paper breaks down easily in those systems, but disinfectant wipes do not break down,” Palmer said. “Disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, and even ‘flushable’ wipes are made of synthetic materials that, when combined with grease and other waste, will create blockages in sewer systems.”

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