AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine officials say wastewater treatment plants around the state are experiencing problems because residents continue flushing baby wipes and similar items down their toilets.

Andrew Fisk of the Department of Environmental Protection says baby wipes sometimes form into long ropes that can wrap around pumps and other equipment. As a result, he says municipalities are spending millions of dollars for maintenance and replacement parts for burned-out pumps.

Rep. Bernard Ayotte, a member of the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee, is urging Mainers to refrain from putting wipes into the wastewater system.