Please take note of a relatively new problem that has been encountered in the wastewater collection and treatment systems – the disposable or “flushable” wipe.
Disposable wipes (e.g. baby wipes, flushable wipes, shop towels, etc.) are particularly problematic for wastewater collection and treatment systems because of the manner in which they are constructed. Disposable wipes are fibered, which makes them very strong, even when wet. Unfortunately, it also makes them non-degradable, which means they don’t break down into smaller pieces when immersed and even agitated in water.
Here’s more information about ’flushable wipes’ and the dangers they can cause:
Sewer System Damage In the event that the wet wipes you flushed aren’t caught in the pipes or create blockage and would reach the sewer system, they can still create some damage and cause havoc to the sewer system of the City.
They Don’t Break Apart Unlike toilet paper that usually breaks apart in about 24 hours or so, wet wipes will remain whole even when flushed down the bowl. Many plumbing experts would agree that wet wipes have been found intact within drain pipes even after months of being flushed.
The Fatberg Effect This happens when wet wipes combine with the fat, grease, and other dirt trapped in the pipes creating an iceberg-like formation. These formations create huge clogs in plumbing pipes and drains. Some fatbergs can be up to 10 ft and weigh more than 100 lbs.
Wall of Wipes The older your home, the more vulnerable your home’s pipes are to corrosion. When you flush wet wipes down the drains, they get tangled with everything else down there resulting in a wall of wipes that would be almost difficult to break up.