In January, the city's newest $54 million plant experienced a major hydraulic failure because of a power outage in the city of 360,000 people. Since then, raw human sewage has been flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, including items people routinely flush down toilets, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
In late May, the city said four of eight solid waste outflow filters were being removed as they were backing up with what the mayor called "floatables."
Resident Cindy Schultz told the CBC she has set up a blog and a Facebook Internet page urging women to stop flushing tampon applicators.
"I'm here twice a day with my dogs and you cannot walk two feet on the beach without seeing at least a dozen at your feet. And it's disgusting," she said.
The city is also running a radio ad campaign requesting residents refrain from flushing the applicators, as well as condoms and diapers.
The cause of the plant failure is still under investigation and no repair date has been made public, the Chronicle-Herald newspaper said.
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