News Flash

Water Utilities

Posted on: August 26, 2020

Wipes Clog Pipes!


But the Package Says "Flushable"

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 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. Sewers are designed to dispose of water, toilet pater and human waste ONLY.

What Are Wipes Made Of?

Wipes are made of materials such as polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp, or rayon fibers formed into sheets. 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. Fibers, such as cotton and rayon, are used in this process, as well as plastic resins like polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene. 

This photo shows an actual clog caused by flushed wipes that was removed from one of Mansfield’s sewer pump stations. If wipes are a necessity, then make sure they end up in the trash and not the toilet.

wipes clog

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