It’s true - toilet paper is not the only product on the market for when you have to go. That’s right, flushable wipes, or wet wipes, are a product that could potentially cost you a lot of money if you are not disposing of them properly!
Flushable wipes are not so flushable, so why are they advertised as so? As stated here many things can be flushed down the toilet, but that does not mean that these items should be flushed. “Flushable wipes” are advertised as so, because they are not obstructed from being flushed, therefore making them “flushable” in the technical sense. However, the damage they cause to your sewer system and pipes in your home is simply not worth the “flushable” factor that they advertise. There is a big difference between “flushable” and “sewer-and-septic safe”. For more information regarding this, click here.
One of our local water and sewer companies, Charleston Water System (CWS) filed a lawsuit against one of the “flushable” wipes companies in regard to false advertisement and the material of their wipes. The problems these wipes cause are massive and expensive. In order to remove the wipes from the CWS plant, heavy machinery is needed and, at times, divers have to go into the waste water to break up and remove the clogged wipes. Source: https://abcnews4.com/news/local/charleston-water-system-files-class-action-lawsuit-against-flushable-wipe-makers
Toilet paper is designed to break down in the pipes and sewer system after around 24 hours or earlier, but wipes are NOT! Most are made from material that remains intact for much longer in the sewer system. Flushing multiple wipes can lead to a backup in the sewer system, which is a pretty costly repair, and wipes should NEVER be flushed on a septic system. Sewage pipes are susceptible to enough challenges already, including grease buildup, tree roots and pipe breakdown, all of which can trap wipes. If the main sewer line backs up, it will not only affect your toilet(s), but the bath tubs and sinks in your home as well – think sewage water in all of those areas, yikes! Whether you rent or own your home, a plumbing backup caused by wipes is likely to result in an expensive bill. This is something that we all would like to avoid. There are many resources online that discuss this issue, but one of them can be found here.
“How do I prevent this?” you might be wondering. You can still use wet wipes, however absolutely do NOT flush them. You should dispose of them in a garbage bin only. Find out more about items that should never be flushed here.