A wayward mop head led to the release of raw sewage into a tributary of the Maquoketa River this week. Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman, Joe Sanfilippo, says the mop head was probably flushed down a toilet by someone.

“As far as we know somehow it came down the line, got into the pipe somewhere, probably a residence, got into the line and got wedged into a spot on the pipeline about two blocks from the wastewater plant,” Sanfilippo says. He says items this large aren’t usually found in the sewer lines.

“This was a little unusual being a mop head. We do see a lot of materials get stuck in pipelines, usually our biggest problem I would say is grease,” according to Sanfilippo. The blockage in Manchester led to raw sewage being released, and Sanfilippo says it should be an example to people about what gets flushed.

“You know we just try to warn people that it’s creating a problem for their neighbors by doing something like that. We don’t know if it was an accident, how it got in there,” Sanfilippo says. “But it’s something that obviously should be avoided in the future. “People need to be careful in their residences about what goes down the sewer lines.”

Sanfilippo says grease problems are often caused by businesses, so they should also be aware of what they are dumping down sewer lines. Sanfilippo says the Manchester spill did not lead to a fish kill, but did lead to a concern about the health of people in the area from the release of the raw sewage.