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Flushable Wipes Causing Sewer Problems

Murphys Sanitary District has received several call outs for customer backups due to items being flushed down the toilet that should NOT be put in the toilet!

Many household cleaning products are labeled and marketed as disposable; many baby hygiene products are labeled both disposable and flushable. And while these products may be marketed as a convenience item, the truth is that these household wipes have the ability to clog and stop up not only your sewer pipes, but also can cause blockage and service problems in Murphys Sanitary District’s sewer system and pump stations.

Unlike toilet paper, these products don’t break down once they are flushed. They can cause blockages in your on-site side sewer lateral, especially older pipelines that may have grease, roots or other obstructions already existing.

On a larger scale, when these products make their way into the public sewer system they collect together and cause clogs in sewer main lines and get tangled in pump stations requiring repair or possibly even expensive replacement of equipment.

The following items should never be flushed into the sewer system: 

  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Baby wipes
  • Q-tips
  • Toilet cleaning pads
  • Mop or “Swiffer” type refills
  • Paper towels
  • Moist towelettes
  • Any consumer item that is not toilet paper

Flushable wipes are marketed in a variety of ways, such as “septic-safe”, “breaks down like toilet paper” or “safe for sewer and septic.” The problem is that they generally take longer to break down when compared to traditional toilet paper and as a result have caused major blockages in sewer systems.

Consumer Reports conducted a test to determine if flushable wipes really are flushable.

Check out this video to see the results.

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