Wipes and cleaning cloths are designed to be stronger than facial tissue or toilet tissue, so they don't break down in water. This includes baby wipes, bathroom wipes, facial or cosmetic wipes, personal hygiene wipes, disinfecting wipes, floor cleaning or dusting wipes, and toilet bowl scrub pads. Even products labeled "flushable" can clog your sewer line because their plastic fibers don't break down quickly.
Wipes are not Toilet Paper
Wipes belong in the Trash
What happens when you flush them down the toilet or drain? The non-toilet friendly items you flush down the toilet might disappear without a problem, but beyond the drain opening is a world of traps and pipes, and those materials may be stuck there. Perhaps the flushed wipe or paper towel made it past the toilet and into the sewage pipes. These deposits don't break down and over time they will tangle and clump together.
The pipes that connect your toilet to either the septic tank or the city sewage system are not straight. In fact, they may turn several times before making a connection. These bends, where the pipe may become smaller, are prime places for debris to lodge.
Debris includes regular wipes as well as some common toiletries. This can clog your pipes and cause blockages that cause sewage to back up into your home or neighborhood. Sewers are designed to dispose of water, toilet paper and human waste ONLY.
Even items labeled "flushable" can clog sewer pipes. These common household items don't break down in the sewer pipes of your home or on the way to the wastewater treatment plant. Defend your drains by disposing of these products in the trash (where they belong) before they cause unpleasant and expensive problems.
Wipes are made of materials such as polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp, or rayon fibers formed into sheets. They may be packaged individually, or in small or bulk packaging. They are moistened with water and other ingredients, such as cleansing and moisturizing agents that help them work. They may contain other ingredients, such as preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria and molds.
Wipes are designed to be durable enough for heavy duty cleaning tasks, yet still be disposable. The material used in wet wipes is a non-woven fabric similar to the type used in diapers and dryer sheets. Traditional fabrics are made by weaving together fibers of silk, cotton, polyester, wool, and similar materials to form an interlocking matrix of loops. Non-woven fabrics, on the other hand, are made by a process that presses a single sheet of material from a mass of separate fibers. Fibers, such as cotton and rayon, are used in this process, as well as plastic resins like polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene.
Unfortunately there are no proven, toilet-friendly alternatives to conventional wet wipes. The best strategy to avoiding wipes from clogging up drains and sewage systems is to not use them at all, but if wipes are a necessity, then make sure they end up in the trash and not the toilet.
A variety of toilet paper moisteners are now available for purchase online. These products dispense a cleansing solution that creates pre-moistened wipes that disintegrate after you flush them down the toilet. There are also plenty of recipes online for making your own natural baby and wet wipes using toilet paper and natural oils.
Wipes Damage Pumps
And cause issues at the water treatment facility
- Trinity River Authority of Texas Central Regional Wastewater System
- January 22, 2017
- Wipes clog wastewater intake grates on an daily/hourly basis.
- More Info:
Every day the Trinity River Authority removes thousands of pounds of wipes and other items from their system that should not be there. Many times damaged pumps and equipment is a result of the blockage if it is left in the system. This results in higher water costs for customers because of the constant maintenance and more frequent replacement of equipment.
Wastewater can travel up to 60 miles or more in the pipes before arriving at the treatment facility. Even after this long, turbulent, journey, these wipes are still together and have not broken down. Intake grates are cleared hourly of wipes resulting in a dumpster full of wipes that goes to the landfill daily.
How can you prevent sewer back ups?
Easy steps to Defend Your Drains
By practicing these three simple actions, you can prevent grease clogs and help protect our water quality.
1. Wipe pans and plates into the trash before washing.
Use a paper towel to wipe greasy pots, pans, and plates before placing them in the dish washer or washing them in the sink. When you do hand wash greasy kitchen ware, be sure to use COLD water so that even the small amounts of fats, oils, or grease don't get a chance to cling to pipes before hardening.
2. Take advantage of local drop-off facilities
You can collect your used cooking oil in a sealable container with a screw top lid and then take it to one of the regional drop-off locations so we can collect and recycle the used cooking oil.
It's a win-win!
3. Remember the 3 Ps.
The toilet should only be used for three things; Pee, Poop, and toilet Paper.
Wipes - even "flushable" wipes - belong in the trash and should not be flushed down your toilet.