Rob Villee, executive director of the Plainfield Area Regional Sewer Authority in New Jersey, holds up a wipe he flushed through his test toilet in his office. Increasingly popular bathroom wipes, thick, premoistened towelettes that are advertised as flushable, are creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the nation.
Julio Cortez, Associated Press - Ap
What not to flush: Wipes among items jamming pipes
- Article by: The Associated Press
- Associated Press
- September 23, 2013 - 10:10 AM
Wastewater officials across the country have been trying to spread the message that not just anything can go down the toilet, and they have recently taken aim at wipes.
A public awareness campaign by the Orange County Sanitation District in California called "What 2 Flush" emphasizes that the toilet is meant only for the three Ps — pee, poop and toilet paper. It even says facial tissues are too sturdy to be flushed. Among the more unusual items it says people commonly flush that risk causing clogs: cat litter, condoms and dental floss.
A study by the Portland Water District in Maine in 2011 analyzed what was causing clogs in their sewer pipes and came up with this analysis:
— 42 percent paper products, including paper towels
— 24 percent baby wipes
— 17 percent hygiene products, including feminine pads and tampons
— 8 percent "flushable" wipes
— Remainder, other items, including household wipes, cosmetic pads and medical materials.
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