Many Americans seem to be following the recommendations of public health officials to clean and sterilize countertops, doorknobs, faucets and other frequently touched surfaces in their homes.

The problem? Many are then tossing the disinfectant wipes, paper towels and other paper products they used into the toilet.

The result has been a coast-to-coast surge in backed-up sewer lines and overflowing toilets, according to plumbers and public officials, who have pleaded with Americans to spare the nation’s pipes from further strain.