While hoarders are buying up the toilet paper, others may resort to using other products like paper towel, “flushable” wipes, baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, etc. However, these alternatives do not break down like toilet paper and result in clogged sewer lines, pumps, lift stations and cause havoc at the sewage treatment plants. Likewise, Clorox wipes and other disinfectant wipes that people use to wipe down surfaces also do not breakdown and should never be flushed. It is important to note that even though packaging may say, “Flushable” wipes, these items are not biodegradable materials. They do not break down in the sewer system like they should.
Public Officials and sewage treatment experts plead with consumers to not use toilets as garbage disposals. Plumbers have reported people dumping food, grease, medicine, paper wrappers, hair, just about anything that will fit in a toilet people are flushing, which can be a huge cost to both property owners and their neighbors as sewage blockages back up into basements. People need to know that the cost of the plumber for the home to the street is their responsibility. Additionally, the cost of repairs to clean, disinfect, remove and replace damage to finished basements and contents may not be covered by homeowners’ insurance. Public works providers also are not responsible for damage caused by debris flushed or dumped into sewers. However, water commissioners report that the public utility can spend $300,000 to $500,000 a year cleaning the sewer systems because of flushable wipes and other items that clog the system and create backups.
Additional items that should not be flushed or put into the sewer system include:
Cat Litter or Cat Poop from a Litter Box
Cooking Oil, or Food
Finally, if you have to ask, “should I flush it?” The answer is probably NO! Remember that wipes clog pipes. No Wipes in the Pipes!