ALL Disposable Wipes should be discarded into the trash.
And even "Flushable" Wipes
Should NEVER be flushed down the toilet.
Protecting our infrastructure saves all of us a truckload of money. Wipes, whether branded as “flushable” or otherwise, should never be flushed down into our sewer system. Most wipes do not dissolve the way toilet paper disintegrates with liquids. Some wipes even have plastic woven into their fabrics causing it to wrap around pumps instead of flowing through the pump and into the sewer line.
When lift station pumps back up, sewer can back fill into residential and commercial sewer lines overflowing into lower lying wastewater vestibules like tubs, showers and toilets. Sewer can also back up into the street from clogs in major lines seeking pressure relief through manholes and other outlets. The bottom line is…Wipes Clog Pipes!
Collection Systems Maintenance
Wipes can survive the long journey from homes though miles of sewer pipe and never dissolve. Although we spend the entire year maintaining our sewer systems though remote camera robotics, flushing, repairing, and removing tree roots and other debris, these non-dissolving wipes find grease or other debris to adhere to and create large fatbergs and “rag” balls. These wads of debris become impenetrable in the sewer lines.
The Clean Water Works Student Video winner for 2019 explains "Flushable" Wipes in their TV Ready PSA.
Click on picture to start video.
Grand Prize Winner - PSA
Cedar Vickery & Marvin Walder - Summit High School - "The Issue with Flushable Wipes"
Q & A:
If it says "flushable" on the package then its okay to put them in the toilet, right?
- NO. Very few wipes dissolve like toilet paper, even flushable wipes. Do Not flush ANY wipes.
If there is a sewer back-up into my house, who pays for it?
- It depends on who caused the blockage, but in general, your homeowners insurance would pay your claim.
What about septic systems: Are "flushable" wipes okay for those systems?
- No, absolutely not. Septic Systems will fail when debris clogs seep holes in the system.
What can go down the toilet?
- Only the three P’s should be flushed: Poop, Pee and Paper (Toilet Paper only)
THINGS TO KNOW:
Flooding and Sewer Backups
There are several reasons for sewer backups and flooding; however, the leading cause is debris that should not be in the sewer system. Wipes or paper towels are a huge culprit of clogs in our system. Fats, Oils, and Greases (FOG) are often disposed of in the sink or toilet and are huge contributors, as well. These messy concoctions harden or gel and stick to other debris forming fatbergs, rag balls or adhere to the sides of the pipes causing blockages similar to plaque in human veins.
High Cost of Repairs
Homeowners pay for their own sewer pipe repairs, while the City pays for general sewer pipe, pumps, and treatment. It all costs money, no matter who is paying for it. Ratepayers pay for water, sewer, and stormwater. Therefore, each of us ends up paying when the infrastructure is damaged.
Protect our Environment
Clogged sewer pipes, sewer backups, and equipment failure at our wastewater treatment plants can impair the process and threaten our clean water goals.