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Monday, August 24, 2020
With the Mask Mandate for Muscogee County, many people in our community may be searching for a reusable face mask.  In an effort to assist, we are sharing a few ways for you to make your own reusable cloth face mask at home. 

Sewn Face Masks

Needed Materials: 
  • Two “10 x 6” inch rectangles of cotton fabric
  • Two 6 pieces of elastic (rubber bands, hair ties, string, or cloth strips)
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  1. Cut out two rectangles of cotton fabric (9x6 inches for Adults, 7.5x5 inches for children). Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric, cotton sheets, or even t-shirt fabric. Stack the two rectangles on top of one another. You will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.
  2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.
  3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.
  4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.
No-Sew Face Masks

  • Bandana, old t-shirt, or square cotton cloth (9x6 inches for Adults, 7.5x5 inches for children)
  • Rubber bands or hair ties
  • Scissors
  1. Fold bandana in half.
  2. Fold the top down and the bottom up.
  3. Place rubber bands or hair ties about 6 inches apart.
  4. Fold sides to the middle and tuck.
Expert Fitting Tips:
  • fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • completely covers the nose and mouth
  • is secured with ties or ear loops
  • includes multiple layers of fabric
  • allows for breathing without restriction
  • can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
By working together and wearing cloth coverings, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19. For more tips on creating a mask, click here.

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Protecting water quality starts with each of us!RiverWalk

When we use our toilets, showers, washing machines, garbage disposals or dishwashers, wastewater leaves our home through pipes that connect to the Columbus Water Works sewer system.

Putting the wrong things down the drain can damage our sewer system, cause sewer backups in our homes, and sewer releases to the environment.  We all need to take responsibility for our sewer system for what we flush or pour down the drains.  Every property owner connected to the sewer system can be a potential contributor to sewer problems and be impacted by them.

Trash and Wipes

Many household cleaning products are labels and marketed as “disposable” but do not break down in the city sewer system and should not be flushed down the toilet.  Some items include:Dont Flush

  • Paper Towels/Rags
  • Disinfecting wipes/Baby Wipes
  • Disposable Products/ Wipes
  • Animal Litter/ Animal Waste
  • Bandages
  • Dental Floss
  • Food Products/ Wrappers
  • Hypodermic Needles
  • Old/unused Medications
  • Cigarettes

These products don’t dissolve.  They clog pipes and cause expensive and time consuming repairs for us the homeowners.  We need to save ourselves and our wastewater utility from a pain in the drain – put wipes, rags and towels in the trash, not the toilet!

Did You Know?


Columbus Water Works pulls 440 to 550 gallons of wipes out of two of their pump stations each month from wipe clogs.


 Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)

Grease sticks to household and sewage pipes, as well as trash.  Over time, grease build-up will block the entire pipe and result in raw sewage backing up into our homes or overflowing into the street or waterway.

Clogged PipeRunning hot water down the sink simultaneously with the frying oil does not keep it from solidifying in the pipes.  It’s already cold by the time it hits the larger system and can plug pipes completely. We should never pour grease in our sink drain or toilet.  Use the garbage disposal sparingly.  Instead compost vegetable food waste and save gallons of water every time.  We need to pour our grease and oil into a can and put it in the trash or better yet, save it and bring to one of Columbus Water Works’ recycling events.

If you have used cooking grease and cannot make it to one of our events, we have great news for you!  We have 11 Stationary collection sites located throughout the city, where you can drop off your used cooking grease any time.  please note that we ONLY take cooking grease.  DO  NOT LEAVE other household items at these sites. Click here for a map of locations

Unused / Expired Medications

When we don’t properly dispose of our medications, they make their way into the drinking water. We do not need to flush unused medicines or pour them down the drain or toilet.  Instead, we should throw our medications into the trash.  Medications are incinerated or buried in landfills.  Better yet, use drug take-back programs. Drop off unused medications at specified locations in our community. Drug take-back programs are organized by state and local governments and also by private institutions, including pharmacy chains.  

The Muscogee County Sheriff's Department collect unused and expired medications (NO needles or syringes) throughout the year at the following locations:

  • Muscogee County Sheriff's Department located at the Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government Center on the 4th Floor - 100 10th Street (Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). 

  • Citizens Service Center on the 1st Floor at the Front Desk located at 3111 Citizens Way (Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).  

Columbus Water Works' next Grease and Pharmaceutical Recycling Event is January 9, 2021.  Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on these events and more!

Flush What

 Helpful hint:   Print out the “You Flushed What?” flyer and post it in your bathroom or kitchen to remind yourself what needs to be thrown away!

View a printable version of this flyer. (PDF)

Wednesday, August 05, 2020
As our teachers, parents and students prepare for the start of the 2020/2021 school year, we understand that the risks associated with COVID-19 are making things more stressful and challenging.  Some schools are returning virtually, some in person and others are providing parents a choice between virtual and in-person.  In an effort to help families with this transition, we have collected a few tips to start the year off right. 
  • Set up a designated area for schoolwork. Having an area that is just for learning can help minimize distractions and let kids really focus on the work that needs to be done. Make sure this area is quiet and there is maximum privacy. Try and allow space for a desk or a table that your child can work on. This area can also be fun with pillows or beanbags to sit on and books your child can read when finished with their work.
  • Create a schedule with plenty of breaks built into the schedule. Having consistent breaks lets your child reset their mind and relax. This will help with their focus and productivity and make it not as hard on the parents too.
  • Create a calendar. Making a weekly calendar with the subjects and assignments that need to be done by a certain time will help you and your child stay on track. Virtual learning can be extremely stressful for the child and the parent because everyone is trying to do as much as they can at once. Talk with your child’s teacher and see if they can help you set up a weekly calendar or share their weekly calendar with you to keep up with lessons and assignment due dates easier. 
  • Get everyone on their feet. Going outside and having a scheduled playtime is essential for your child’s health. Exerting energy outside and having fun in the sun can help kids relieve stress and feel less cooped up from staying at home all day. Exercise is also really important to get the blood flow going and keep the mind at its top performance.
  • Take charge of TV time. Watching a lot of television can become a bad habit. Do your best to limit the time the amount of time you allow your child to watch TV. When you do allow them to watch it, try and make it a family affair. If it’s a family affair, then it will be easier for you to monitor the time and what your child is watching.
  • Get everyone to bed on time. Sleep schedules can get messed up during the summer. Enough rest is essential for healthy minds and healthy bodies. Help your kids get back on track for a productive school year by setting an earlier bed time and earlier wake-up time around a week before school starts.
If you have decided to have your child attend school, please take all the necessary precautions.   
  • Make sure your child knows why they need to wear a mask and that they are comfortable with wearing it all day.
  • Try and have a clean, zip-locked backup mask in your child’s backpack in case the one they are using gets ruined during the day.
  • Have a travel-sized hand sanitizer attached to your child’s backpack for them to use throughout the day.
  • Make sure to talk to them about staying 6 feet apart from their friends and their teachers for their safety.

Going back to school can be hard for both parents and children. Hopefully you found these tips helpful. If you would like more tips on transitioning into the school year during this hard time, please check out the links below: 

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