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How Flushable Wipes Affect Your Sewer System

Out of sight, out of mind.

For many homeowners, that philosophy is costing them — big time.

Items labeled as “flushable” wipes are creating massive clogs in sewer systems and contributing to rising utility costs, septic system backups and toilet clogs.

Though homeowners don’t necessarily see the firsthand effects of the flushable wipes, city officials are constantly breaking up massive clogs within city sewer systems.

Thanks to contributing materials such as fats and grease poured down drains, it’s not uncommon for workers to encounter clumps of flushable wipes the size of cars.

The problem

So, why aren’t flushable wipes truly flushable? The problem lies in the labeling itself. While toilet paper disintegrates almost immediately, the wipes hold strong. Even when they were put into a mixer filled with water, it still took at least 10 minutes for them to break down into smaller pieces. And that’s with even more force than your sewer system will exert on the materials.

People use wipes. They flush them down the toilet. Crews are dispatched to break up clogs and replace machinery. The routine is becoming mundane and all too familiar for laborers who wish they could personally tell all homeowners to stop flushing the wipes.

Many cities are taking the initiative to inform consumers through campaigns and other measures. Some makers are agreeing to no longer market the wipes as flushable.

Moving forward

While the fault may not be on homeowners themselves for following packaging instructions on “flushable” wipes, they still shouldn’t be wreaking havoc on their sewer systems.

Residents are coming home to flooded homes and even handing over large sums of cash to fix their plumbing systems — all of which could have been avoided had they simply thrown the wipes in the trash.

Communication and education are two of the most challenging aspects of fighting the problem, and many don’t think twice about the issue until they come home and find that their system is backed up.

The solution? Don’t flush flushable wipes, no matter what the package tells you.

If you’re experiencing a clog or toilet issueBenjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Dallas can help. Our punctual plumbers have the training and expertise to fix your plumbing issue and get things back on track. Whether it’s drain cleaning or leak detection, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help, or schedule an appointment online.