Are Flushable Wipes Safe to Flush?
Head down the paper aisle at your favorite big box store and you’ll find row after row of products and recognizable brand names. If they’re on the market, they must be safe to use, right?
In recent years, pre-moistened “flushable” wipes have been all the rage. They make promises to help you feel cleaner and fresher all while being completely safe for your sewer system, too. Flushable wipes are marketed in a variety of ways, including “septic safe,” “breaks down like toilet paper,” and “safe for sewer and septic.” But are flushable wipes safe for septic and sewer systems really?
Are Flushable Wipes Really Flushable?
Flushable baby wipes and regular wipes been proven to take longer to break down when compared with traditional toilet paper. As they make their way down the pipes, rather than breaking down quickly, they start clogs that lead to blockages and cause serious damage.
It all starts in your pipes. Because the fabric in wipes holds together much longer than toilet paper, the wipes begin mixing with other particles in your system. Paper bits, grease, and other flushed debris quickly begin to build up, potentially causing a backup in your home.
Yet, in some cases, the wipes don’t stop in your drain pipes and continue to flow. They get out into your main sewer line where they not only damage your home but also potentially the entire sanitation system. Once the mess begins meshing and compacting together, it can quickly build in size. Reports have shown backups caused by wipes have occurred around the world in sewer systems and caused sewer overflows, clogs at lift stations, and even disruption within the treatment plants.
TL;DR: Don’t Flush the Wipes
While most manufacturers will argue that flushable wipes are safe, frequent testing shows that wipes begin to disintegrate in much longer time periods than traditional toilet paper, in some cases needing 35 minutes of constant agitation. These tests are in perfect conditions; something they’ll never find in a normal sewer system process.
There’s also a secondary problem. Because flushable wipes are similar in appearance to other products, such as baby wipes or facial wipes, many consumers dispose of these other products down the toilet as well. These products are not flushable and only add to the problem.
Have you used flushable wipes in your home? If you’ve also had unexplained clogs or backups, they could be the source of your problem. Call R.S. Andrews at 770-913-6412 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.