According to multiple reports, there is a crisis brewing in sewer systems around the country due to the common practice of flushing baby wipes and other foreign objects down toilets. The result is millions of dollars worth of equipment damage in some of the nation’s largest cities.
Toilets and septic systems are designed to only process human waste and standard toilet paper. Anything else that goes down a toilet can create costly problems for both home and business owners alike. Keep in mind, pipes that connect a home to main sewer lines are often no wider than 4 inches in diameter, and it does not take much to create an obstruction.
Some common household items that should never be flushed down toilets include (but not limited to): baby wipes, cooking grease, paper towels, dental floss, dinner napkins, food scraps, coffee/coffee filters and women’s hygiene products.
By far, the most common offender from the above list is baby wipes. This stems from a false sense of security from the “flushable” labels placed on baby wipe packaging. However, despite this claim, these wipes do not disintegrate at the same rate as toilet paper and can cluster together to form large clumps that wreak havoc on sewage systems.
In New York City, the issue has become so prevalent that last year, the city’s mayor created a bill to get baby wipe manufacturers to stop advertising their products as “flushable.”
In addition, the “flushable” label may get federal oversight as the Federal Trade Commission has recently stepped in to investigate the problem.
Regardless of any legislative outcome, homeowners (particularly new parents) need to be disciplined and avoid sending anything down their toilets that will create temporary or long term plumbing problems.
If you are experiencing repeated toilet clogging or think there may be an issue with your home’s septic system, please contact Andrews Plumbing. with any questions you may have.