News Flash

City Announcements

Posted on: March 24, 2020

Petersburg Public Works and Utilities Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update from 

Petersburg Public Works and Utilities

Petersburg’s Department of Public Works and Utilities continues to operate through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to provide citizens, businesses, and industries with reliable water and wastewater service.  Public Utilities will continue to prioritize water quality compliance and emergency response (water main breaks, sewer backups, etc.).

Both the U.S. EPA and CDC have indicated that public water supplies are safe to continue using -- both standard treatment processes and disinfection are shown to either remove or inactivate the virus.

In response to the recent high demand for paper products and disinfecting wipes, we’d like to reiterate that disposable wipes, paper towels, and other household products (anything other than toilet paper) should not be flushed down the toilet.  Of concern are disposable wipes (baby wipes, wet wipes, and/or disinfecting wipes), which are often incorrectly labeled as “flushable.”

Wipes blend with fat, oil, and grease (FOG) to clog pipes and manholes –causing backups and overflows which can impact customers.  Even if wipes don’t cause issues within household plumbing or the conveyance system, they can (and often do) bind the pumps, resulting in costly emergency repairs.

Once waste leaves a toilet, it travels through miles of pipes, countless bends, and multiple pump stations within the City before being discharged to the South-Central Wastewater treatment plant.  Clogs, backups, and seized pumps can impact a large number of customers.   Please dispose of wipes, tissues, and paper towels properly by throwing them in the garbage.

Announcement Information Resources:

•    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Water Transmission and COVID-19

•    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Coronavirus and Drinking Water and Wastewater

Staff Contacts:

Tangela Innis

Director of Public Works & Utilities




Andrew J. Barnes, P.E.

City Engineer & General Manager of Utilities


Ronell Johnson

Assistant General Manager of Utilities


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