Never Flush “Flushable” Wipes
Take a walk down the paper aisle in any big box store, grocery store, or pharmacy, and you are sure to find a multitude of brand name “flushable wipes” products lining the shelves. They wouldn’t remain so popular if they weren’t safe to flush, right?
Pre-moistened “flushable” wipes have been all the rage for several years now. You can find them scented or unscented…tailored specifically to men or women. They’re packaging promises to help you feel cleaner and more fresh, all while being completely safe for septic and sewer systems because they break down just like toilet paper. Is this really true?
As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, and toilet paper becomes more scarce, more and more people are resorting to using these so called “flushable”, septic and sewer safe wipes. Unlike toilet paper, which is actually designed to disintegrate in our sewage systems and pipes, the same cannot be said for wipes. Almost every version on the market is created with synthetic fibers, which can include plastic and polyester, that will not break down when flushed and require the use of some type of toilet drain cleaner or toilet drain opener. Even if your toilet doesn’t initially become clogged, with so many households using and flushing them, they end up clogging up our sewage systems. There are cities that have had to pay millions of dollars a year to combat the hazardous risks these flushable wipes cause by clogging the system, as well as the damage to pipes. This money comes straight from the taxpayers pockets.
The problem all begins when you flush wipes into your pipes and septic tank if you have one, or your local sewage infrastructure. The fabric in the wipes hold together and will begin mixing with other particles like human waste, hair, food particles, grease, and any other material that goes through your drainage system. This buildup will quickly lead to a backup in the system, and could quite possibly backflow into your home.
In some cases, the blockage doesn’t simply stop in your drainage system but makes its way into the main sewer line, where they not only cause expensive damage for you but can also potentially damage the entire sanitation system.
When this happens, a snowball effect occurs, and the mess begins connecting and compacting with other waste and can quickly build in size. There have been multiple reports of backups caused by flushable wipes in sewer systems, causing disgusting sewage overflows, clogs at sanitation stations, and disruption at the actual sewage treatment facility.
You can try and flush a wide variety of things down your toilet, and if you are a parent then you’ve probably witnessed your child try to do just that. We know better, and we teach them better, so you may be wondering how it is possible that companies can continue to advertise the wipes as flushable. The short answer is they can continue to label the wipes as flushable because there are currently no regulations preventing them from doing so. There are no requirements for companies to prove their flushability claims. Most would likely fail such a test. A recent study out of Canada found that out of 101 flushable wipe brands tested for flushability, not a single one passed.
It’s a very misleading marketing strategy and we need regulations that restrict it so that consumers are aware of the dangers of flushing these wipes down the toilet.
The last thing we need in the middle of a global pandemic, are backed up sewage and plumbing systems. Public health officials are urging people to only flush bodily waste and toilet paper.
If you’ve already been doing this because you thought it was safe, we have products available to break up the clogs that are already forming. It’s also a smart idea to keep a good sink drain cleaner and septic safe shower drain cleaner on hand.
Try our Power Play Pro Strength Drain Opener to break up clogs that are or may be causing clogs in your system.
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