Is there really such a thing as “flushable” wipes? No! Let us explain why …
The words “flushable” and “wipes” should not be in the same sentence together. Flushable wipes aren’t really flushable, they just say so on their packaging.
We know it’s hard to believe that these wipes wouldn’t be flushable, the way they claim to be! But wastewater workers say that these wipes don’t dissolve in the sewer system the same way toilet paper does. These workers at wastewater treatment plants can see that these wipes are making it through the sewers – which makes they could potentially cause a blockage as well. And in case you’re not worried about blocking pipes around your city, these wipes can block your own plumbing too, especially if a wipe gets caught on something in your pipes, and refuses to budge.
Often, whether they get stuck in your plumbing or not, wet wipes can be the start of something called a “fatberg.” What exactly is that? It’s pretty gross – a “fatberg” is a mass of flushed items that builds up over time from something small, like a single flushed wipe. It creates a sort of snowball effect when other items get trapped on the wipe too. These fatbergs might be floating around your city sewers, or they might be getting caught in your own plumbing instead! It’s gross, and potentially very costly!
Still don’t believe us?
But don’t take our word for the fact that “flushable” wipes aren’t really flushable! Instead, we will point you to a study, done at Ryerson University in Toronto. The researchers dropped wipes into the bowl and flushed them. The wipes then went down a pipe that has 90-degree turns, which is where these wipes usually get stuck. Then, if possible, the researchers collect the wipes at the bottom of the fake pipes, after letting them sit for 30 minutes. If more than 95% of a wipe has dissolved, then it is considered a flushable wipe. But when they tested all the “flushable” wipe brands they could find, it turned out that on average, only 13% of the wipe dissolved!
“It fails,” said lead researcher Darko Joksimovic. “Everyone claims their products are flushable. What we are doing is testing these claims.”
Hopefully with this advice, we’ve helped you save some money on a potentially plumbing emergency. But we also know that, no matter how careful you are, plumbing problems can happen to anyone. If you’ve got a clog or any other plumbing issue, Ballard is here for you!
We specialize in plumbing issues from leak detection, to pipe repair, to water treatment – and we’d love to help you here in the Inland Empire area! Just contact us online or give us a call at 909-297-1914. (And please … stop flushing those wipes!)