This summer when we had our septic tank pumped for it’s routine cleaning, the crew told me it was great that my family didn’t use flushable wipes.
Because they don’t disintegrate in septic and sewer systems. One worker told me he had replaced dozens of $400 septic pumps at people’s homes because of so-called “flushable” wipes. He also said a nearby town had to shell out $5,000 to repair a lift station and rip out 20 feet of sewer line because of a daycare that had been regularly using the wipes.
“When we cleared that line, it was like a giant, disgusting Q-tip,” he said.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. I’ve also heard the warning not to flush wipes down the toilet from our plumber.
“Plumbers love those wipes,” he said. “They always get stuck. It’s job security.”
And it’s not just wipes that cause problems.
Back when I was a student in college, my environmental science class toured a waste water treatment plant. The only thing I remember from that trip: all of the “flushable” tampon applicators bobbing in the waste water. The plant manager told us they had to skim them off because they didn’t decompose.
There are hundreds of examples across the country of flushable wipes wreaking havoc on pipes. And yet, the marketing touting how “wonderful and clean” you’ll feel is thrown at us in magazines, store displays and television commericials.
Sure those wipes may leave you feeling cleaner, but they’ll eventually end up cleaning out your wallet.
It would probably be cheaper to install a bidet (and better for the environment) then it would be to buy the wipes and pay to repair the damage caused by them.
But most of us won’t do that. Instead, consider making changes to your diet so that you don’t need the wipes. Or if you must get a “deeper” clean, wet some toilet paper with warm water. If you can’t stop using the wipes, at least stop flushing them. Toss them in the trash instead.
You really shouldn’t flush any products down the toilet that aren’t toilet paper. You’re just flushing away your money if you do.