Dear Heloise: I am a retired engineer from a water-system company. Recently, I met with my fellow workers, who are still employed, for lunch. They complained that BABY WIPES coming into the plant are causing a huge problem.
Apparently, more and more of these wipes are being disposed of in sewer systems, and they are nondegradable. They bind the screens going into the plant and knot together to form ropes as long as 40 feet. Further upstream, they form into balls and plug sewer pipes. Please advise your readers to purchase only biodegradable products or deposit those that are nondegradable somewhere besides the sewer system. -- Mike F. in Texas
Mike, thank you for this good reminder. How right you are! There are biodegradable wipes and ones that should NOT be flushed. Wipes are deemed flushable if they meet certain guidelines, such as clearing toilets and properly maintained pipes. However, most city water systems state that they are NOT SAFE to flush. So, folks, please don’t flush anything that shouldn’t be. READ the packaging. This also can prevent a plumbing bill! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: We painted our house, and the light-switch plates didn’t match anymore. They are relatively inexpensive to buy, but we didn’t want to waste the perfectly good ones we had. Instead, we just got spray paint in a color to match. You may need to get a primer for the plastic first, but it is just another can of spray paint. -- B.D. in California
Have you peeked into my guest powder room? I did the same thing! Give me a can of spray paint, and I can fancy up anything that’s not living and stands still. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Air bags are designed to protect you during a crash. However, they deploy at an alarming speed! There are some things you can do to minimize or prevent injuries if they must be used. Here are some hints from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to keep you and your family safe:
* Drivers should sit at least 10 inches away from the center of the steering wheel.
* Children 12 years of age and younger always should be secured in a seat belt in the rear seat of the car.
* If a child must sit in the front seat, make sure the seat is positioned as far back as possible from the air bag.
* Infants in rear-facing infant seats never should be placed in front of an air bag. Again, they should be in the rear seat of a car at all times.
* Do not ride with legs or feet up on the dashboard! You could end up with broken legs or worse!
Dear Heloise: Since I am a quilter, I painted a quilt block on both sides of my checked luggage. I also painted the handles white on my entire set of luggage. No question which bags are mine. -- Ella O. in Louisiana
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